Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Colorado Rockies fail to score, offense continues baffling run

Tim Stauffer.

Add that name to the list of pitchers who have completely dominated the Colorado Rockies offense that was supposed to be the best in the National League West.

On Tuesday, Stauffer stifled the Rockies offense, going eight shutout innings and giving up just four hits. The Padres pitcher struck out eight and walked just one.

There is no answer to why this Rockies team is so bad at the plate. Every scenario has been thrown out there as to why they struggle. At this point, however, there is no logical explanation. They simply stink.

Fingers will point to Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, the two superstars who haven't lived up to their billing in 2011 so far. However, Tulo continued to rip the ball on Tuesday night, he just continued his unlucky streak, seemingly finding a different glove in every at-bat.

Gonzalez has been bad of late. He struck out four times in San Francisco on Sunday, swinging as if he had a ten foot bat and was determined to use it. On Tuesday, the free-swinging continued, however, in two separate at-bats, the lefty drilled a low fastball deep into left-center field, showing fans the Gonzalez of old. Then, in the eighth inning, realizing that the scouting reports say not to throw him anything near the zone, Gonzalez wised up and took a walk.

In reality, the two clubs might still be playing had Chris Nelson fielded Alberto Gonzalez's ground ball to second. Instead, on a great effort, Nelson smothered the ball, only to knock it about five feet away from his laid-out body. With Kyle Phillips sprinting towards the plate, Tulo fired the ball to Jose Morales, who promptly booted the throw, allowing Phillips to score and Gonzalez to move to second base. He then scored on Stauffer's RBI single, his second hit of the night.

When the opposing pitcher has half of the total number of hits as your whole ball club, there are generally problems.

With the loss, the Rockies have now gone nine consecutive games scoring three runs or less. That has never happened in the history of their franchise. That's right, this club that was tauted as the best offensive club ever to pick up bats in Rockies uniforms have now set the futility mark, and frankly, they show no signs of breaking out anytime soon.

If there is a positive for the Rockies it is the pitching performance of Ubaldo Jimenez. Despite taking the loss, Jimenez once again did not walk a batter. His velocity is beginning to creep back up to where it once was as well. The biggest positive is that he looks confident on the mound again, something that was missing completely in his early starts.

At this point, however, the only thing Jimenez can do to help the team win is learn how to hit. Right now it looks like he has as good of a chance as anyone of getting the job done at the plate.

The Rockies send Aaron Cook to the hill for the first time in 2011 on Wednesday afternoon. He looks to give the Rockies their first series victory since early May.

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