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The Rockies are letting down their starting pitchers

Despite three straight quality starts from their pitching staff, the Rockies are on the verge of being swept by the Mets.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

In three games against the New York Mets at Citi Field, Rockies starters Jon Gray, Chris Rusin and Jorge De La Rosa have combined to allow four runs in 18 innings.

That translates to an ERA of 2.00, which by any measure is quite good. Only the Dodgers' Zack Grienke has a better ERA among starters in all of baseball. Despite that performance from their starters, the Rockies have lost all three games in the series and are on the verge of being swept today as Eddie Butler takes the mound against Noah Syndergaard.

In Wednesday's 3-0 loss, De La Rosa allowed two runs on four hits in six innings of work, walking two and striking out seven, but was outdone by Mets starter Jacob deGrom.

It has not been a case of Gray, Rusin and De La Rosa getting to that ERA of 2.00 by escaping jams all the time and dealing with traffic on the bases every inning. In their 18 innings of work, they allowed just 13 hits and five walks with 17 strikeouts. A fan of the Rockies, or any team, would gladly take a three-game stretch of starting pitching like that, but the Rockies have lost all three games thanks to the failings of the rest of the roster.

Part of the problem for the Rockies in the series has been, as ever, the performance of the bullpen, which has given up almost twice as many runs in six innings of work in the series as the starters have allowed in 18. Rockies relievers have allowed seven runs on eight hits in a half dozen innings in the series, walking four and striking out two, translating to a 10.50 ERA and 2.00 WHIP, which just isn't good enough.

The bullpen has been an issue all season for the Rockies, as their relievers have combined to blow 16 save opportunities and take 20 losses in 2015. The eight relievers that currently make up the Rockies' bullpen have combined for a WPA of -1.05 and the 19 relievers the Rockies have used this season have combined for a WPA of -1.58, which ranks them 23rd in baseball.

Another, and perhaps bigger, issue for the Rockies in the series against the Mets has been the offense. The Rockies have not scored in 23 innings and have scored just two runs in the series. Those two runs came on one swing the bat, a two-run home run by Carlos Gonzalez against Mets starter Jon Niese in the fourth inning of Monday's series opener.

A struggling offense at Citi Field against Niese, deGrom and Matt Harvey, who started the Mets' 2-0 win Tuesday, is not exactly unexpected, as the three hurlers have combined for a 2.59 ERA and 1.06 WHIP at their home part. If you just include Harvey and deGrom, who shut the Rockies out the last two days, they have combined for a 1.98 ERA and 1.03 WHIP at Citi Field.

That said, the Rockies have just two runs on 14 hits in the series, with only four of their 14 hits going for extra bases. That kind of run support makes a pitching staff's job next to impossible, and the Rockies' starters deserve better.