Welcome to the 11th Purple Row edition (and 116th overall) of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we're just counting down to a long weekend of beer and sunshine and fireworks. I have a little bit shorter of a post this week, as I spent three recent nights unplugged from the world while camping with some fellas who enjoy a more-than-occasional adult beverage as much as I do. Summertime is upon us, people! Let's get into it...
Tomorrow is July. The month of July is a thing that happens tomorrow. In the baseball world that means a busy month with All-Star festivities in Cincinnati and a looming trade deadline. In the Rockies' world that means it's crunch time. If this team wants to maintain any hope that they can be a contender, it's time for them to make a move and start winning a bunch of ball games. If that doesn't happen- and there's plenty of reasons to think it won't- the purpose of this season becomes very different.
The 2015 season is fully matured. In fact, the Rockies will reach the halfway point of the year when they play their 81st game on Saturday in Arizona. You might be sitting on a couch inside watching that game on TV, or you might have something a little more fun going on. I'm not going to tell you what to do.
As they sit right now, the Rockies are 33-43, which matches their worst record of the year. The season kinda, sorta, absolutely seems to be slipping away. So can the Rockies salvage something resembling competence in July? Let's take a look.
The home/road split for the Rockies in July is balanced with 12 games at The Keg and 13 games on the road. Of course that hasn't mattered much, as the Rox are currently five games under .500 both at home and on the road.
Let's check out the quality of opponent. To do this, I'll divide the teams into four subsets based on their current records. 1) Really good teams who are at least eight games over .500 (a rough cutoff for what it takes to be in first place this year). 2) Good teams who are above .500 but not "really good". 3) Bad teams who are between .500 and eight games under .500. 4) Really bad teams who are at least eight games under .500 (like the Rockies!). Again, I'm just looking at July so I'm not including last night's or tonight's games against Oakland.
Using this extremely advanced system, here are the number of games the Rockies play in July against these types of teams.
- Really bad: One, tomorrow night in Oakland
- Bad: 13. Three against Arizona, four against Atlanta, four against San Diego, three against Cincinnati.
- Good: Eight. Two against the Los Angles Angels, three against Texas, three against the Chicago Cubs.
- Really (really, really, really) good: Two, at the end of the month in St. Louis.
So 21 of the Rockies' 25 games in July will come against teams that are probably somewhere between mediocre and decent. The problem is that the Rockies have been neither mediocre nor decent for most of the year. They've been bad. And they've been bad recently. Since they pulled to three games under .500 on June 9th, they've gone 6-13. That's bad.
The way the Rockies are playing right now, there's not much reason to believe the quality of opponent will matter a whole lot. If we saw a long line of last place teams on the horizon, Rockies fans might have some reason for hope. But most of the teams on the schedule appear to be better than the Rockies, either at home or on the road.
Part of me wants to believe that the Rockies can be a better team than their record suggests, but when you get to the halfway point of the year, the numbers tend not to lie. And the numbers say the Rockies are a last place team.
So it looks like the most interesting aspect of July, beyond the Rockies' All-Star representation* will be how Jeff Bridich handles the impending trade deadline.
*Guys, I know Nolan Arenado deserves more votes in the All-Star balloting. He isn't going to start. He probably should start over Todd Frazier and he should definitely start of Matt Carpenter, but that's not going to happen because fan voting is dumb. But he's going to be an All-Star. There is no doubt about that. He's in. Rest easy. It would probably be okay if we all quit complaining about what a travesty it will be if he's snubbed. That's not going to happen.
Anyway, it looks like the Rockies should be full-blown sellers at the deadline. This is Bridich's first opportunity to make some in-season moves to improve his franchise. And he has GOT to make some moves.
It might not be a fun July, but it should make for a fascinating one.
Now we proceed to the weekly departments (Some really good stuff this week!)...
Thanks for the third out, man. pic.twitter.com/xDQxIuaqx9— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 24, 2015
Happy Tuesday, everybody. Thanks for readin'. Have a happy, fun, awesome Independence Day. Enjoy the long weekend if you get one. God Bless America. See ya next week.
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