The Colorado Rockies are doing their best to erase their good start.
After the best April in franchise history, May is on pace to be the worst.
On Sunday, the Rockies squandered the final game of their miserable six-game road trip that looked a whole lot more like 2010 than the early stages of 2011.
The Rockies dropped two games in Arizona, a team that is inferior to them in every aspect of the game. After dropping that series, they proceeded to get swept by the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
Getting beat by the champions normally isn't the end of the world. However, going into San Franciso and not having to face Tim Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez is an opportunity that has to be taken advantage of.
Despite a lackluster offense in the first two games, the Rockies were in a postion to win both games, until Jim Tracy micromanaged his bullpen into oblivion. Tracy struggles with his in-game decisions, when things don't go the way he envisions, he cannot seem to adjust. What that leaves the Rockies with is Felipe Paulino struggling his way through two ninth inning losses, and another on in the tenth inning on the same road trip.
While Tracy's blunders cost the Rockies, the offense has to share the blame. The only pitcher that has ever been considered an All-Star that the Rockies faced on the trip was Matt Cain. Beyond him, the other pitchers faced were mediocre at best, including Sunday's starter for the Giants, Ryan Vogelsong, making his second big league appearance since 2006.
The losses have magnified a problem that the Rockies have faced all season long. The club struggles at the plate. Despite being touted as having possibly the most depth in the league, the Rockies have shown very little production from anyone on their bench. Jason Giambi is clearly struggling to only getting a couple of at-bats here and there, and Jose Lopez has been a complete bust.
Ty Wigginton, despite a low batting average, has made an impact, but an oblique injury has landed him on the disabled list. Ryan Spilborghs has struggled, as teams have figured out the key is to not throw him a pitch on the outside of the plate, allowing him to extend his arms.
The Rockies are still pull-happy. Many fans are going to blame new hitting coach Carney Lansford for the failures. However, breaking habits that have been engrained into a group of players for two years is going to take time to reverse. At this point, the Rockies hitters may very well be in a funk because they are in-between on their coaching. They haven't successfully implemented the new training, because they have yet to dispose of the tactics emparted to them over the last two years.
These Rockies will eventually hit. However, despite being early May, losing five-out of-six to the Giants is not the statement that the club was hoping for.
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