Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rockies Road Woes Continue

It seemed as if Drew Goodman was intentionally taunting Rockies fans all night long.

The FSN play-by-play announcer seemingly came up with a new stat that showed how horrible Mets starter Mike Pelfrey has been since June.

On Tuesday night in New York Ubaldo Jimenez had his best stuff. The only problem is that if he wanted to pick up his franchise record 18th win, he was going to need to be perfect. Pelfrey dominated the Rockies road offense, which seems to miss every flight out of Denver, leading the Mets to a 1-0 win in a game the Rockies needed desperately.

Jimenez was nothing short of phenomenal. He gave up just four hits in seven innings. He gave up the one run, which came because of a leadoff walk, one of four in the game, that came around to score on a Jose Reyes sacrifice fly.

The Rockies are out of excuses. They can come up with whatever reason they want to for why they can't hit on the road. The latest excuse being that Coors Field has such a big outfield that when they leave their comfortable confines the outfielders seem like they are right on top of the hitter. With a shutout at Citi Field, one of the most spacious outfields in baseball, that excuse is no longer valid.

The fact is, with two months to go in their season and chasing two teams in the race for the National League West, the Rockies cannot afford to lose games when their ace Jimenez is on the mound. His starts must be an automatic W. All it would have took to win on Tuesday night was two measly runs against a starting pitcher who is struggling greatly. They could not get it done and find themselves scoreboard watching hoping that they don't lose ground instead of hoping they gain a full game.

The Rockies are now 2-3 on their current seven game road trip. In order to salvage even the hope that it was a decent trip, the club must now win the final two games against the Mets. That might not seem like that tall of an order, except for the fact that Johan Santana will take the mound for New York on Thursday afternoon.

So what is the Rockies issue on the road? One thing that is clear is that it is in their heads. They cannot quit tripping over their own feet in other teams parks. There have been very few road losses in 2010 in which the Rockies were defeated by the other team. The majority of the time they lose to themselves. They are their own worst enemy and they cannot relax and simply take the same approach at the plate that they do when they are at home.

Good teams win on the road. Good teams win games with their ace on the mound and an inferior team in the other dugout. The Rockies have done neither in 2010. With the hope that the Padres and Giants may fall apart at some point and the Rockies may figure it out, there remains some hope. Unfortunately, as early August turns to mid-August, this Colorado club has not hit on all cylinders. What that means is that instead of them figuring it out at some point, they are going to be remembered for being yet another team that never realized their potential.

If they haven't figured it out yet, they probably never will.

For more on the Rockies visit RockiesReview.com

This article is also featured on INDenverTimes.com

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