Will Rockies’ “road to ruin” continue in Miami vs. Marlins?
On May 23, 2019, the Washington Nationals were 19-31. In October, they swept St. Louis in the National League Championship Series before beating Houston in seven games to win the World Series.
“Often, bumpy roads lead to beautiful places,” manager Dave Martinez said.
The Rockies sure hope the Nats’ philosopher/manager was right, because their road has been bumpier than the one atop Colorado’s Blanca Peak.
As the Rockies open a six-game road trip Tuesday night at Miami, their ineptitude away from Coors Field has been extraordinary:
• A 4-22 record, the worst in the majors. That’s a .154 winning percentage. A check of baseball history reveals that the worst road record in a 162-game season belongs to the 1963 Mets and the 2010 Pirates (both 17-64, .210).
• The Rockies have been outscored 131-63. They are hitting .197. For the record, the lowest team batting average on the road since 1901 belongs to the 1908 Philadelphia Athletics, who hit .203.
• They have hit just 12 road home runs. The Pirates, who rank 29th in road homers, have 22. The Giants have launched 56 road homers, more than 4 1/2 times as many as Colorado.
• Colorado is averaging 2.4 runs per game. Toss out its 14-run extravaganza on May 1 at Arizona and the Rockies have averaged 1.9.
• The Rockies have a .273 on-base percentage and .563 OPS, both the lowest in the majors, by far.
• They have been shut out 10 times already this season, all on the road. That’s a big-league record for road shutouts through the first 60 games of a season.
Rockies manager Bud Black has tried to stay positive, as has interim general manager Bill Schmidt.
“We’ve got to keep teaching and keep coaching,” Black said. “Try to coach all these young guys up and encourage them to keep fighting, and keep battling, and keep learning.”
Added Schmidt: “Yes, it’s about learning, but it’s also about learning how to execute.”
That’s particularly true when it comes to clutch hitting on the road. The Rockies will enter Tuesday night’s game hitting .178 with runners in scoring position.
“I don’t think there is a formula for (fixing) this,” said third baseman Joshua Fuentes, who is slashing .155/.211/.197 with just one RBI in 26 games away from LoDo. “Guys just have to play well. I just think that’s what it comes down to. You can do all the preparing you want, and use the (pitching) machine.
“But at the end of the day, it just comes down to if you’re playing well. And for some reason, it just seems that we never play well on the road. I really don’t know what else to say.”
The Rockies’ road to ruin, however, is not just about bad offense. While Rockies starters have posted a 3.44 ERA in 34 home games this year, they have a 5.58 road ERA.
Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-5, 4.47 ERA) at Marlins TBD
5:10 p.m. Tuesday, LoanDepot Park
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM
Senzatela is coming off perhaps his best start of the season, getting the win in Colorado’s 6-3 victory over Texas at Coors Field. He pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits. He struck out only three but induced 12 groundball outs. He ranks third in the majors with a 54.0 groundball percentage. He has four career relief appearances against Miami (1-0, 2.00 ERA) but has never started against the Marlins.
Trending: Right-handed reliever Carlos Estevez has allowed only one of 11 inherited runners to score (9.1%), ranking third-best in the National League.
At issue: On the road this season, Colorado’s catcher duo of Elias Diaz and Dom Nunez is batting .093 (8-for-86), with a .179 on-base percentage and a .388 OPS.
- Wednesday: Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (4-5, 4.12) at Marlins TBD, 5:10 p.m., ATTRM
- Thursday: Rockies RHP Chi Chi González (2-3, 4.84) at Marlins LHP Trevor Rogers (6-3, 1.97), 5:10 p.m., ATTRM
- Friday: Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (0-1, 6.23) at Reds RHP Tyler Mahle (5-2, 3.32), 5:10 p.m., ATTRM