After the Nolan Arenado trade, expectations for this season dropped to new lows. It was no longer a matter of IF the team would be bad, it was a matter of HOW bad this team could be. Historically, the Rockies are one of two MLB teams who have never recorded a 100-loss season (Angels). The closest the Rockies have gotten was back in 2012 when they lost 98 games. Could 2021 be the year the Rockies get trounced to 100 losses?
If you would have asked me at the beginning of the season, I would have said no, the rotation would be too good to allow that and the offense would be able to pull enough games out of their you-know-what at Coors to let that happen. That last part has been true so far, and while the rotation had its lumps to start the year, the starters have now combined for a 3.35 ERA since May 21st. That’s really good and yet the Rockies offense has been so bad on the road, that now I’m not sure it’ll be enough.
Now at exactly the 1⁄3 mark of the season, the Rockies hold a current record of 20-34. That puts them on pace to finish the season 60-102. FanGraphs projects the Rockies to go 43-65 the rest of the way, which would give them a 63-99 record at years end.
Things get even gloomier when you look at what lies ahead on the schedule. According to Tankathon (which all Rockies fans should probably be bookmarking now), the Rockies have the fifth most difficult schedule remaining in the league by opponent win percentage. This is mostly because of the brutal NL West and the fact that the Rockies still have a combined 35 more games against the Padres, Giants and Dodgers. 17 of which are in California, a place the Rockies probably wish fell into the ocean because of the 1-11 record there this season.
Now, if you’re thinking, “the Rockies can’t continue to be this bad on the road for the entire year”, or “it has to swing back the other way and even out”, think about this: who says the Rockies haven’t been over performing at home? Perhaps they’re due for a regression at Coors Field. It’s not a far out thought when you consider that a lot of the Rockies rotation have been unusually better at home than on the road. You can also take into account the fact that the Rockies have a +25 run differential at home compared to last years league worst -60.
Another huge domino that could push the Rockies over that 100-loss edge is dependent on the fates of two of their best players. Trevor Story and Jon Gray could both be playing in different uniforms by the beginning of August. Of course we don’t know if they’re guaranteed to be dealt but with the club’s record and it slowly beginning to look towards the future, it makes sense to get a few quality prospects in return for two of your best players as opposed to having them walk for only a draft pick in the offseason. It’s difficult to imagine a Rockies team without Trevor Story or Jon Gray but if just one of them are dealt the team is obviously weaker, and a team without both could get really ugly. August and September are already some of the most difficult months for a lot of fanbases but imagine watching the Rockies face the Padres, Giants and Dodgers 20 times in less than 60 days without Story, Gray or any fun September call-ups (MLB now only expands to 28-man rosters in September). It could get really bad.
For that reason and the combination of the ones above, the Rockies are going to be flirting dangerously close to their first 100-loss season in franchise history all year long. They’re going to have to scrape some games out and claw out of some series sweeps like we saw yesterday. Most importantly, they’ve got to find their swings on the road. A 4-22 road record while hitting .197 has 100-loss team written all over it.
What do you think? Will the Rockies scrape out 63 wins or is this team destined to be the all-time worst Rockies team? Does a 100-loss record even matter to you as a fan? Should it matter to the players? Vent down below.
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Hey look, national coverage of how bad the Rockies have been. Thats uhh... great?
We all know how bad the Rockies have been on the road but it actually reached an unprecedented level before Sunday’s win. Now at 4-22, it’s not any prettier but it could help the Rockies avoid a historically awful season. The all-time worst road record is held by the 1935 Boston Braves who went 13-65. To avoid that, the Rockies will need to win 11 or 12 more road games this season.
Inspired by Joshua Fuentes’, name change, Patrick Saunders discusses some of the best all-time baseball nicknames. Personally, I think some of the best current nicknames are “Sho Time” (Shohei Ohtani), “Thor” (Noah Syndergaard) and Brandon Belt’s “The Baby Giraffe.” I’d probably also throw “El Cangrejo” in there too because who doesn’t love Raimel Tapia?
Kevin Larson breaks down why its a good idea for the Rockies to hold off on dealing their all-star shortstop, at least until after the all-star game. It’s specifically his injury that could now change the timing of a possible Trevor Story trade.
On the farm
The Albuquerque Isotopes did their best Rockies impression yesterday and only recorded one hit in a road loss to the Sugar Land Skeeters. That hit came from outfielder Wynton Bernard who has been one of best hitters the Isotopes have had so far this season, slashing .323/.371/.538. Starter Dereck Rodriguez really struggled and gave up six runs in just 2 1⁄3 innings while walking seven batters and hitting two of them.
The Yard Goats continued the road shutout trend within the organization and lost to the Portland Sea Dogs. Shortstop Coco Montes stayed hot and went 2-for-4 and now has an OPS of .825 through 83 at-bats. Starter Frank Duncan pitched a nice game with three unearned runs given up in five innings. The defense for the Yard Goats was to fault for four of the Sea Dog’s five runs due to four different errors.
The Spokane Indians saw how much everyone else in the organization was struggling to hit on the road and felt left out so they also only recorded two hits. Starter Ryan Feltner threw six shutout innings with seven strikeouts but it was the offense that could could not string together hits. The Indians left eight men on base and went 0-for-6 with RISP.
The Fresno Grizzlies could only put up one run but did have seven hits in a loss to the Inland Empire 66ers. The lone run scored came on a Joe Aelitis solo home run in the seventh. Zac Veen and Mateo Gil both went 1-for-4 but as a team the Grizzlies went 0-for-7 with RISP. Not a good day throughout the organization.
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