Josh Brage

Good Week at Home
August 1, 2007, 1:12 pm
Filed under: Baseball; Rockies

Last week the Rockies played extremely well at home in a very important homestand. With the division leading Padres and Dodgers in town, it was important for us to win some games, both to make a strong advance in the division, as well as continue to develop confidence that we are a team that can win.

Out of the 6 games played (Friday night’s game was rained out) we took 4. That was very strong for us! We ended the week 3.5 out of first. Last night we took the first game from the Devil Rays as the Giants and the D-Backs helped our cause by dropping the Padres and the Dodgers. We wake up this morning still 3.5 our (Arizona has now assumed the division lead) BUT I feel very confident that the D-Backs will hit a slide here shortly and drop fully out of contention. Leaving us to fight out the division with LA and San Diego.

The main thing that would help us is consistent victories on the road. But, if you know the Rockies at all, that is not something we do very well. Bad Altitude has this:

As of right now, the Rockies are 30-21 at home (which projects to 48-33 assuming they are relevant enough to need to make up every lost game) and 23-30 (35-46) on the road. Which leads me to conclude: Nothing has changed. Humidor or not, the team still leaves its confidence behind whenever it ventures outside of the Mountain Time Zone. Hey, I can relate, I feel the same way sometimes, but if I were a ball club I assure you I would have won more than one playoff game in my lifetime. Sometimes you just have to buck up and go with your fears (just like in Batman Begins, which is what I watched for the first time during the rainout Friday night).

Despite the fact that the humidor has had the intended effect of making offensive and pitching statistics from games at Coors slightly more adherent to realities elsewhere (and really, as I’ve argued many times before, trends in ballpark construction have made Coors-like conditions rather more the rule than the exception, see Houston, Cincinnati, Arizona, Philadelphia, and so on) the Rockies still have a crisis of confidence when it comes to taking care of business on road trips. It seems to me like the obvious solution to this problem is a manager with more authority to lead than Clint “405-487” Hurdle, but look what happened the last time the Rockies hired a manager with genuine gravitas — Jim Leyland lasted one miserable year. Just long enough to earn our eternal hatred but not quite long enough to impress upon the players that whether or not Coors Field has mystical powers, it’s the players’ responsibility to go win series in Phoenix and San Diego and Washington too.

So what else can I say other than what I’ve been repeating all year? Until the Rockies can put together a team capable of going .500 on the road, they’re not legit. After the day off today, Colorado will confront clubs in Atlanta and Florida that are not any qualititatively better than their own. Maybe now is their time, but the tremendous weight of past history leaves me skeptical.

I completely agree.


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