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All hope is lost in Rockies Town

Colin D. | June 5, 2014

“It’s truly a shame to see what has gone to waste over the past couple Rockies seasons. All-Star level performances from both offensive players and from starting pitchers are being allowed to go to waste over and over and over again all because the team simply cannot manage pitching in the late innings of games.”

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All hope is lost in Rockies Town

If you’re reading this you probably either watched the debacle at Coors Field last night or you have heard all about it so there’s no point in my rehashing it. Suffice it to say the Rockies were down four runs, then they got a lead, then they lost it again in fabulous fashion. All hell broke loose. The Arizona Diamond Backs, one of the most woeful squads in all of Major League Baseball, lit up the Colorado bullpen for twelve runs in the final three innings to snag a second straight win at Coors Field and take the series, Colorado’s first lost home series of the season.

The loss was the Rox’ sixth straight. I a matter of just two weeks the squad has gone from fending off the Dodgers to protect their second-place rank in the NL West to facing the prospect of yet another lost season mired in mediocrity. Prior to this year Dick Monfort famously told Troy Renck of the Denver Post that he felt a reasonable expectation for the Rockies was a playoff appearance “twice every five years”. If they fail to make it to the post-season again in 2014 it will have been a full five seasons since the team last made a run – and it was a tepid one at that. In 2009 the Rockies were blasted three games to one in the division series by Philadelphia.

As hard as the good folks in Rockies PR (including the Root Sports broadcast crew) might try to convince fans that the 2014 Colorado Rockies season isn’t over thinking people know that it is. The wheels are off and even if they get bolted back on the Dodgers and Giants will leave THE Rox in the dust. There will be no playoffs unless some kind of wild Rocktober kind of thing happens again and Rocktober was something that had never happened before.

It’s truly a shame to see what has gone to waste over the past couple Rockies seasons. All-Star level performances from both offensive players and from starting pitchers are being allowed to go to waste over and over and over again all because the team simply cannot manage pitching in the late innings of games. The Rox’ bullpen is not the sole reason for the team’s failings but it certainly is the primary one. The Rox often carry leads into the sixth or seventh inning only to see it eviscerated by an explosion of offense.

Much has been said about the cache of pitching talent the organization has squirreled away in the minors but, as Mark Kiszla so aptly pointed out last night on Twitter the Rox are past the point of no return now. Their plan to bring Eddie Butler up for his first major league start on Friday might help spin the turnstiles at Coors Field but Butler can’t reverse the Rockies’ fortunes. If anything it might be best at this point to leave Butler down rather than integrate him into a club house environment that’s likely to get toxic soon. Butler’s confidence will be critical to the club moving forward. Tearing the kid down by including him as a component in a lost cause might be the absolute worst move the front office could possibly make.

As bad as things are for the Rockies they could easily be worse. Troy Tulowitzki has got to be extremely frustrated with being the top contributor in a losing effort. He must at least be considering asking Dan O’Dowd to trade him to a contender. A change of scenery would probably do him good but losing him would be an awful blow to the Rockies. His leaving would signal a rebuilding period for a team that has seemed to be right on the precipice of goodness for the past several seasons. For fans it would just be crushing to watch Tulo succeed in another uniform.

All hope is lost in Rockies town – for this season, anyway. Perhaps the Monforts will clean house and bring in some bona-fide baseball people to run their organization moving forward. But they probably won’t. Until they do “there’s always next year” will be a mantra that fans will find harder and harder to believe in.

Written by Colin D.

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