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Pitching is All the Colorado Rockies Need

July 9th, 2014 at 12:28 PM
By Joe Lemere

Pitchers Mound from Flickr via Wylio? 2007 - EMR -, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

The Colorado Rockies have had a disappointing season this year, but it hasn't been all bad news. When healthy, the Rockies have the best offense in the majors, if not always the most consistent. Hitting for average, hitting for power, plate discipline, the ability to fight off nasty two-strike pitches and a good amount of clutch, there is no hole in the lineup one through eight. They also have one of the best defensive teams in the game, with the best defensive infield and an athletic outfield. But no defense is good enough to make up for bad pitching, and that's where the Rockies are right now. They have good bats and good gloves, now they need good arms to compete.

When the Rockies allow four or fewer runs in a game, their record is 31-12. That means if the opposing team puts a four-spot up on the scoreboard, the Rox have a 72 percent chance of winning that game. Now if they could only keep the opposition to under four. That 43 game mark is impressive, but it also means that there have been 48 games where they've allowed more than four runs. The Rockies are a staggeringly bad 7-41 in those games. Pitching is and always will be the most important facet of any baseball game, but the record differential really crystallizes it perfectly.

Only two Major League starting pitchers for the Rockies have ERAs under four, Brett Anderson and Jordan Lyles. And rather shockingly, being Rockies this season, both have been on the DL for a long stretch. Good news is that Anderson has looked good in rehab starts and should make his return to the Show this Saturday. And Lyles shouldn't be all that far behind him. Only three regular relievers — LaTroy Hawkins, Tommy Kahnle and Adam Ottavino — have an ERA under four. As explained before, the guys coming out of the 'pen haven't been terrible, they're just overworked because of injuries and poor starting pitching.

It's always been the problem for the Blake Street Bombers. It's also been hard to bring in solid starters to pitch half their games at Coors Field. Mike Hampton is the team's biggest free agent signing in that category and the biggest trade they made for starters saw the best pitcher involved in that deal, Ubaldo Jimenez, leave Denver.

Will the Rockies pitching problem ever get solved? Certainly not this year. And if the past 15 years under Dan O'Dowd are any indication, they won't be next year either.

Tags: Baseball, Brett Anderson, Colorado, Colorado Rockies, Jordan Lyles, MLB, pitching

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