On Friday, June 3, during the middle of a Rockies v. Padres game, Rockies third baseman and de facto face of the team Nolan Arenado lost it in the dugout. There wasn’t any pushing or shoving, and the yelling wasn’t necessarily directed at any one person. A Padres home run by star Matt Kemp off of Rockies pitcher Chris Rusin proved to be the last straw for Arenado, who was visibly emotional in a press conference after the game.
You can view the video here: http://m.rockies.mlb.com/col/video/v772869583/colsd-arenado-expresses-his-frustration/?affiliateId=clubMEGAMENU
In his post-game press conference, Arenado said numerous times that he was just yelling “in general” and that he was “fed up with losing.” As he should be. In the last week, the Rockies have won a meager two games, many of their losses to teams that they should not be losing to—for example, the 21-36 Cincinnati Reds and the 24-35 San Diego Padres.
The Rockies finished the month of April with a 9-11 record, bringing it up to .500 in the first week of May. It wasn’t a start that placed the Rockies securely in last place by the end of May and it wasn’t one of Colorado’s now infamous amazing starts that leads to crash and burn by June. The pitching seemed solid, management seemed willing to change it up when something wasn’t working and the hitting was traditionally good—at least at home. However, the last week has seen the Rockies’ record drop to 26-31; six games under .500 and third in their division, 8.5 games behind the first place San Francisco Giants.
The problem is that Colorado’s starting pitching is letting the other team jump to an early lead. The Rockies, like basically every other team, are much more likely to win when they score first, and lose when they don’t. Right now, the Rockies are simply proving the rule.
If the Rockies can’t fight their way to a record that’s at least a few games over .500 by the All-Star Break, they really won’t have a chance come September. The Giants look like they’re running away with the division, again. So even if the Rockies can keep their heads above water, they’re going to be fighting with strong teams from the NL Central and NL East for a Wild Card berth.
Early June might seem like a bit early to be this pessimistic about the Rockies’ chances, but history shows that there where they are right now is generally a good barometer. Something constantly feels like it’s missing from the Rockies, and they need to find it, fast. So, like Arenado clearly is, Rockies fans should be frustrated. The Rockies seem so close, yet so far from being a playoff contending team. And in this case, anger is good. Fans should demand more from their team, and so should the players. It’s good to get fired up; it shows the fans and the players care. Rockies fans can be a bit passive, but it’s time to change that.
Of course, it’s easy to point out everything that’s wrong with the Rockies, but it’s harder to come up with solutions. Over the course of the summer, I’ll hopefully come up with solutions, as well as break down everything else that’s going on with the Rockies.
All statistics are correct as of 6 p.m., Tuesday, June 7.