Through six games in 2021, the Rockies were 1-5.
This year, the Rockies are 4-2.
It’s early. The Rockies are 3.7% through the season. If they were running a marathon, they wouldn’t even be at the one-mile mark yet (0.963 miles). In other words, it’s too soon to be drawing any kind of serious conclusions. That being said, this season has still been pretty darn fun so far.
With C.J. Cron and Connor Joe back in 2021 form, the bullpen recording a 0.68 ERA in 26 2⁄3 innings, and Kris Bryant hitting in each game, the Rockies are getting it done. They even already won a series against the Dodgers.
However, there is one area the Rockies aren’t capitalizing on: cashing in with runners in scoring position. So far in 2022, the Rockies are 14-for-66 with RISP. That’s a frustratingly low average of .212.
Through the first five games, the Rockies collectively hit .220/.288/.288 with runners in scoring position through 59 at-bats. The worst part is that the Rockies struck out 26 times in that spot, tied for 26th worst in MLB. Through April 13, the Rockies and Dodgers were tied for worst in the MLB with averaging leaving 4.8 runners in scoring position on base per game.
The .220 average ranked 17th in the league. In those 59 ABs, Colorado combined for 13 hits with zero homers (they were only one of nine teams to do this through April 13), two doubles, and one triple. They collected 14 RBIs, which ranked No. 16 and pales in comparison to Cleveland’s 38. With RISP, the Rockies also walked three times (plus three HBP), reached on errors three times, grounded into a double play three times, and hit two sac flies.
The 2022 squad is off to a better start than the 2021 Rockies, but Colorado did better with RISP last season. And the Rockies weren’t great in 2021 in this area; they ranked No. 22 with an average of 3.47 runners left in scoring position.
In 2021, the Rockies hit .252/.325/.427 with RISP with that average putting the Rockies at No. 16 in MLB. With RISP, they hit 47 homers (tied for 11th), totaled 505 RBI (11th), and hit 76 doubles (No. 5) and seven triples in 1,322 at-bats. They struck out 342 times (No. 12) and only grounded into 26 double plays, which was tied for the least with World Series champion Atlanta.
Individually, through five games, José Iglesias was the best Rockie to have at the plate with runners in scoring position as he’s gone 3-for-4 with two RBI. Charlie Blackmon was next at 3-for-8 with two RBI. Cron, Randal Grichuk, and Kris Bryant each had two RBI. Bryant has also stuck out four times with one double in eight tries. Brendan Rodgers has had a tough start to the season, going 0-for-6 with RISP and 2-for-19 overall through the first five games.
On Thursday, the Rockies struggles to get runners around to home continued. With RISP, the Rockies went 1-for-7. In the fifth inning, Cron hit a two-out double to move Blackmon from second to home and McMahon walked with the bases loaded. That was it for the offense.
The Rockies had runners on base in every inning except the second. The left 12 of them there, including a big missed opportunity when Elías Díaz flew out to left field with the bases loaded in the fifth. Yonathan Daza’s baserunning mistake in the fifth also limited the possibilities of a rally when he was thrown out at third on a Kris Bryant should-be single, which made it runners at first and second with two outs instead of the bases loaded with one out.
Iglesias grounded into a double play with runners on first and second in the fourth Rodgers struck out with runners on second and third in the first inning and again with a runner on first in the ninth.
In order to keep the wins piling up and to be able to overcome the inevitable rough starts and troublesome bullpen performances, the Rockies need to take advantage when runners are on base. Otherwise, the loss column is going to increase much more quickly than the win column.
They need to get their money's worth on homers. The Rockies have hit five home runs this season, three of which were solo shots and the other two were two-run shots. If the Rockies can come up with more clutch hits, just imagine what they could be capable of.
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Bud Black provided an update on Peter Lambert, who was placed on the 10-day DL at the end of spring training, is progressing and should be able to throw some pitches from the mound “within the next week.” The Rockies are hopeful he’ll be able to add depth to the pitching rotation this season, but they are being careful with the 24-year-old’s workload after he had Tommy John surgery in 2020.
Today is Jackie Robinson day and it comes on the 75th anniversary after he broke the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Numerous celebrations will be held around the country to celebrate Robinson including a giant No. 42 in bright lights on the side of the Empire State Building in New York City, a Play Ball baseball and softball event that includes Ken Griffey Jr., Mariano Rivera, Joe Torre, CC Sabathia, Willie Randolph and Butch Huskey will and “50 kids representing each of the five New York City boroughs,” every player in every MLB game will wear No. 42 in Dodger Blue, Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow who will turn 100 this year, will be in attendance at the Dodgers-Reds game at Dodger-Stadium, and the Braves are sending their World Series Trophy to Cairo, Georgia, Robinson’s birthplace, to be enjoyed for the day by kids in the Jackie Robinson Boys & Girls Club of Cairo-Grady County.
Jackie Robinson Day is a great baseball day.
This is a great feature on White Sox infielders Tim Anderson and Josh Harrison, who are the shortstop-second baseman Black duo in MLB. They both not only take Jackie Robinson day very seriously, but also their positions as role models as MLB has faced a significant drop in Black players in MLB from 18.7% in 1981 to 7.2% on opening day rosters this season.
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On the Farm
After Carlos Pérez hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Colton Welker did one better and hit a grand slam in the second inning on Albuquerque’s way to a victory on Thursday night. Tim Lopes went 5-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored, Elehuris Montero hit a solo homer, his third of the young season, and Jonathan Morales had two hits and scored two runs. Matt Dennis pitched five innings of two-run ball before giving up two homers in the sixth, but he still got the win. Zach Lee gave up one run in the eighth and Ben Bowden gave up two runs in the ninth, but the Isotopes lead was enough to hang on.
The Yard Goats (3-2) vs. Fisher Cats (3-2) game scheduled for Thursday was rained out. The two teams will now make it up in a double header that will start at 5:05 ET on Friday.
Eugene starter Prelander Berroa had four strikeouts and held Spokane to one hit in four innings while Spokane starter Mike Ruff struck out nine Emeralds, but gave up two runs on four hits in four innings. Boby Johnson gave up four runs (three earned) in 1 1⁄3 innings to put the Indians in a hole too big to hit out of. Benjamin Sems and Bladimir Restituyo both hit RBI singles in the eighth inning and Colin Simpson hit another RBI single in the ninth, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback.
The Grizzlies put together two nice rallies to take a 7-0 lead through five innings and were then able to hold off a would-be Giant comeback, despite San Jose scoring four runs in the eighth inning. Evan Shawver got the win on the mound, striking out five and only giving up two hits in five scoreless innings. Hunter Goodman went 3-for-4 with a two-run double, Juan Guerrero went 3-for-5, including a two-run single, and Warming Bernabel hit an RBI doubled to lead Fresno’s offensive effort.
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