Sunday, July 20, 2014

GUEST POST: Bullpen and lack of offense does in the Colorado Rockies once again

Years of overuse has finally caught up to Matt Belisle.
**EDITORS NOTE: Cameron Parsons completes his Rockies Review coverage filling in for David Martin. 


Another strong pitching performance, this one by Tyler Matzek, was wasted by the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. 

Each game of the three game set against the Pirates, was very much the same. The Rockies would get an early lead and a strong pitching performance from the starter, only for the bullpen to blow the lead late in the game. 

For the first time in a very long time, the Rockies starters had quality starts (six or more innings pitched, less than three earned runs). Despite that, the Rockies failed to come away with a win and the bullpen continued to struggle. It is beginning to look like the only way for the Rockies to win is for the starter to pitch a complete game. 

Every fan, player, and coach knows that once the bullpen comes in, there is no certainty to who will win. The bullpen just can’t seem to hold a lead.

For the year, the Rockies bullpen has been horrible with a 4.73 earned run average. Tommy Kahnle, a Rule-5 draft pick, and LaTroy Hawkins, a 41-year old, are the best pitchers in the bullpen. That is not the way it should be, but it is just the sad reality. Until the Rockies can bring in another solid reliever, Ottavino and Brothers will struggle due to overuse, and the bullpen will continue to regularly lose games. 

Road woes and bullpen woes will almost guarantee lost series on the road. The Rockies are just not a team that knows how to win on the road. It has always been that way and the mentality is stuck in players heads. They come to the ballpark with the hopes to win, but on the inside they doubt they can. While it is not easily seen, this mentality drags teams down. It makes it harder to win, even when your team is in the lead, the players have doubts. Errors, mental mistakes, and sloppy play become regular occurrences in a game. 

You can see the Rockies with this mentality. The normally stellar defender, Nolan Arenado, has made three errors in three games. Batters are failing to drive runners in, Runners are making mistakes, and pitchers are leaving balls over the plate. 

The Colorado Rockies need to change their mentality. Without a change in mentality, the Rockies will continue to collapse. A player in the clubhouse needs to step up and change the direction of the season. 

Presumably, Troy Tulowitzki will be the one to step up, as he is the team leader. However, this is a perfect time for young players to grow into the role of a leader. Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, or DJ LeMahieu can all make a difference in the clubhouse and step into a leadership role. While they may all still be young players, all three are talented and respected. With strong play, these three can guide the Rockies back to the winning ways of early in the season and at least finish with a respectable record. 

This is the perfect time for a new leader to establish themselves. It is important for the team and the future of the team as they look to establish themselves for the 2015 season. Whether someone steps up is still to be seen. When the time comes though, the hope is that the Rockies will have a new and more positive mentality. 

Until then, the Rockies will have to figure out a way to win baseball games with an unreliable bullpen. 


  1. I want to remind Cameron he is wrong when he said the best way for the Rockies to win is for the starter to throw a complete game. Since the beginning of the 2011 season , the Colorado Rockies are 2-4 when they have a pitcher throw a complete game.

    1. They are Done!! It's Over!! Sorry Fans, another next year, scenario. HAA!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. While the Bullpen is an easy target for criticism, the Roxs as a whole are lousy. This includes their "Kyle Orton" offense that puts up good stats, but is painful to watch, largely ineffective and ultimately futile.

    The '14 NL Away slash line is .243/.304/.375 and the Rox's is .243/.295/.385 = completely average. At Coor's Field the Dodgers and Diamondbacks (and Brewers) are equals/better than the Rockies. Considering they're the away team, it can be argued they're better offenses. Add in the dreadful baserunning, inability to move runners or hit with RISP and the may Roxs outhit, but can't outscore teams. They're Kyle Orton - fine between the 20s against the Prevent, but impotent when it matters.

    A 1-man bullpen (Kahnle) with hit/miss contributors; a 1-man rotation (DLR) with hit/miss contributors; an overstated, poor offense; sub-standard defenders fielded because of their misleading offensive metrics and anointed status; etc, etc, etc...

    The Roxs are worst in baseball for almost every possible reason. Pointing a finger at the bullpen doesn't distract from that anymore than pointing at altitude or injuries. The Roxs simply stink all-around.

    1. I agree with all that was said as you made great points. I didn't realize the home stat lines were worse than many away teams coming in.

      Early on, I was tracking blown saves and holding the score after the starter left...I stopped counting as it was getting ridiculous. The bullpen has blown/lost a hold on at least 25+ games this season. I wish I could find some stats on this for the actual numbers.

      They need to learn to win these 3-2 games but unless there is a 4-5 run lead, nothing is safe with this pen. It is not from over use as the media will point out as they were horrible from day 1.

      Early on, the offense was stringing together hits and scoring it just looks like a frustrated group(slamming bats and helmets constantly)...I don't want to say they are mailing it in but its getting close since it's another lost year and these guys must be sick and tired of the losing culture that permeates throughout 20th and Blake. It is a culture that exists in large part due to owner and lack of accountability given everyone and the excuse machine that we hear every offseason. Act like winning counts and the players will follow suit...that's how you change a bad culture.

  3. maybe the fans should take Dickie's comment to heart and stay away

  4. We need new owners, period. Nothing will change until that happens.

  5. Walt needs to leave the starter in for one more inning, especially when there pitching well, as Matzek was Sunday. He was at 100+ pitches but I bet he would have liked to gone back out at least one more inning. Probably would have won.

    1. I have no doubt that Walt would have left him in if he felt that he would be successful, however his hands are tied by Bill "the smartest man in the room" Geivett. Until he is fired, the Rockies will never win.

  6. Anyone know how many times an opposing base runner has advanced on a wild pitch or passed ball? It seems like about 3 or 4 times a week lately. Anyone have a true number?