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Is this the Colorado Rockies' annual road trip of doom?

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Are the Rockies in the midst of the yearly trip that sends them to irrelevance?

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the ninth Purple Row edition (and 114th overall) of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we are NOT proud of the #BestHackersInBaseball. Let's get into it...

Each year, a single road trip seems to doom the Rockies. The Rockies will be playing some pretty good baseball, maybe turning some heads and raising some eye brows before boarding a plane and playing a few series away from Coors Field. Things go poorly and the Rockies fade from relevance. I've named this yearly happening "The Annual Road Trip Of Doom".

I went back and looked at the past few Rockies' seasons in an attempt to illustrate this phenomenon. I started in 2012, but I probably shouldn't have. That team was so bad it's hard to find The Annual Road Trip Of Doom, but an early-May trip to California is the best candidate. It was just the second true road trip of the year for the Rox after opening the season on the road. Before the trip, the Rockies were 12-15, which means they were playing poorly but hadn't had the chance to show the world just how awful they were. Looking back, this trip doesn't really fit TARTOD mold. The team didn't visit the east coast. The trip consisted of inter-divisional opponents. In short, this trip would not have jumped out at you as an overly troublesome journey when you perused the schedule in Spring Training.

Date

Opponent

Result

Trip Record

Overall Record

May 7

San Diego

Loss

0-1

12-16

May 8

San Diego

Loss

0-2

12-17

May 9

San Diego

Win

1-2

13-17

May 11

Los Angeles Dodgers

Loss

1-3

13-18

May 12

Los Angeles Dodgers

Loss

1-4

13-19

May 13

Los Angeles Dodgers

Loss

1-5

13-20

May 14

San Francisco

Loss

1-6

13-21

May 15

San Francisco

Win

2-6

14-21

So the Rockies went 2-6 on the trip and the losses never really stopped that year. Again, this trip only half-counts because that team was bound to lose a whole bunch of games, both at home and away from Coors Field. But moving from three games under .500 to seven games under on a single road trip sure didn't help things in Jim Tracy's final year.

The 2013 season provides a much more salient example of TARTOD. That 2013 team, which finished 74-88, was 37-33 on June 16th (Hey that's today!) and just a half game out of first place. It was a pretty impressive and unexpected 70 games. But a long, east coast road trip loomed. Nine games. Three cities. Toronto. Washington. Boston. Many thought that if the Rockies could manage a decent trip they might be the real deal. They, uhh... did not manage a decent trip.

Date

Opponent

Result

Trip Record

Record

June 17

Toronto

Loss

0-1

37-34

June 18

Toronto

Loss

0-2

37-35

June 19

Toronto

Loss

0-3

37-36

June 20

Washington

Loss

0-4

37-37

June 21

Washington

Loss

0-5

37-38

June 22

Washington

Win

1-5

38-38

June 23

Washington

Win

2-5

39-38

June 25

Boston

Loss

2-6

39-39

June 26

Boston

Loss

2-7

39-40

The Rockies started the trip with five straight losses. They managed a series split against the Nationals before dropping both games in Boston. The 2-7 showing moved the Rockies from four games over .500 to one game under. They didn't sniff a winning record for the remainder of the year. That trip was the beginning of a 37-55 finish for the 2013 Rockies.

Last season has another perfect example of TARTOD, one that is still far too fresh in my memory. Much like in 2013, a reasonable fan could see the 2014 version of TARTOD coming from a mile away. Though it came earlier in the year than its predecessor, the similarities are striking. The Rox were 26-22, four games over .500 (again) But a peek at the schedule provided reason for concern. Nine games (again). Three east coast cities (again). Philadelphia. Atlanta. Cleveland. (We're considering Cleveland an east coast city here because it fits my narrative. Work with me.)

Date

Opponent

Result

Trip Record

Record

May 23

Atlanta

Loss

0-1

26-22

May 24

Atlanta

Win

1-1

26-23

May 25

Atlanta

Loss

1-2

27-23

May 26

Philadelphia

Loss

1-3

27-24

May 27

Philadelphia

Win

2-3

27-25

May 28

Philadelphia

Loss

2-4

27-26

May 30

Cleveland

Loss

2-5

27-27

May 31

Cleveland

Loss

2-6

27-28

June 1

Cleveland

Loss

2-7

27-29

Another 2-7 showing. Another season-ender. This trip started ominously when Nolan Arenado broke some bones in his hand during the second inning of the first game in Atlanta. The second inning of the first game! And that was pretty much it. There were some gut-wrenching losses on this trip. The Rockies lost twice on walk-off homers, twice in one-run games, and were blown out twice. And like in 2013, a single road trip sent the Rox below .500. And like in 2013, they never looked back. Even when they returned home, they lost seven of their next eight. Season. Over.

Coming in to the 2015 season, the schedule didn't present a clear-cut TARTOD. Not a single east coast swing is more than seven games or two cities. There's a daunting seven-gamer through Washington and New York, but that's not until August. A nasty 10-gamer through San Francisco, Oakland, and Arizona could present some problems, but that's a west coast swing with mostly NL West opponents.

What about that mid-June trip to Miami and Houston? That one doesn't really fit TARTOD mold either. It's only six games. Only two cities. The Marlins are (still) one of only a handful of teams in the National League with a record worse than the Rockies. Houston isn't even in the eastern time zone. But what if the road trip is just a disaster? What if the Rockies go, say... 1-5?

Date

Opponent

Result

Trip Record

Record

June 11

Miami

Loss

0-1

27-32

June 12

Miami

Loss

0-2

27-33

June 13

Miami

Loss

0-3

27-34

June 14

Miami

Win

1-3

28-34

June 15

Houston

Loss

1-4

28-35

June 16

Houston

???

1-5 or 2-4

28-36 or 29-35

(And yes, I realize that waiting for Tuesday's day game to end before publishing this post would have made sense, but that's one of the downfalls of only posting once a week. Work with me people!)

Are we witnessing TARTOD right now? I'm not sure, but there are some similarities to the 2013 and 2014 versions. While the Rox began this trip with a losing record, they were actually playing some pretty good baseball, going 16-12 after that ugly 11-game losing streak. If the Rockies do finish this trip 1-5, they'd be right back to eight games below .500, almost matching their low point for the season. (They were 14-23 on May 20th.)

[Update: The Rockies DID, in fact, lose to the Astros today. They finished the trip 1-5. They are eight games under .500.]

That would make for a pretty disastrous six-game road trip. [Update: It was a pretty disastrous six-game road trip.] It would be a mostly-unexpected spot for TARTOD, but it would be no less effective than those we've seen in previous years.

If the Rockies beat the Astros in a few hours [Update: They did not.] and finish the trip 2-4, we can remove this trip from all TARTOD discussions. Sliding from four games under to six games under should not doom any season in the middle of June.

The Rockies have been a resilient team so far in 2015, bouncing back from many seemingly back-breaking losses with strong performances. Maybe they can recover from a poor showing in Miami and Houston, win a bunch of series, and claw back to .500.

Or maybe The Annual Road Trip Of Doom is upon us.

[Update: I think it is.]

Now we proceed to the weekly departments...

Stud of the week:

How's this for studly? An armless man threw out the first pitch at last night's Giants game with his feet. Very awesome.

And another angle in Vine form:

[FTW]

Ass of the week:

When I first saw this Vine of Tom Brady dancing around like a weirdo I was on the fence about whether or not to include it in today's post. But hey SOMEBODY has to be the Ass of the week! Tom Brady is a solid candidate whenever he does... anything, really.

Photo of the week:

Check out this raccoon hitching a ride across the swamp on the back of his alligator buddy! What an unlikely duo! A real tag-team of fun, these two! Seriously though, a pretty incredible picture. (Actual story here.)

Tweet of the week:

Looks like the Stanley Cup is subject to all the same airport rules as regular, non-famous-trophy luggage.

Some other stuff the internet had to offer:

The Stanley Cup Finals came to an end last night (See ya in October, hockey!) and this is the coolest video I've seen from all the celebratory stuff. Looks like a pretty decent time in there.

Guillermo at the NBA Finals is absolutely hysterical.

Probably the coolest play from the NBA Finals so far is this Curry step-back three from Sunday night:.

I don't know why, but this GIF of a baffled Steve Kerr cracks me up every time.

Look at this beautiful, slow-motion diving catch from Adam Jones. Just wonderful.

If you haven't seen the lead singer of Smash Mouth cussing at fans and trying to start fights at the Taste of Fort Collins on Sunday, here ya go! (There is definitely some NSFW language in here, so be careful.)

What a strange, strange moment.

A couple links worth sharing:

And finally, Here's a video of a singer I've never heard of from a band I've never heard of performing in a town I've never heard of. It's the greatest thing I've ever seen.

The greatest thing I've ever seen.

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for readin'. See ya next week.

***

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos, or other media I should know about. Follow me on Twitter @TuesWithMitch.