Let me answer clearly – heck no!
The race for the division, yes, the Rockies once again are not going to win the West and need to focus on the Wild Card going forward. But, they are 28-28, a whole 1.5 out of the Wild Card (pending finish of all games today)! And that with playing 33 games on the road and just 23 at home (the 10 game home stand will bring it back equal). The Giants are the luckiest team in baseball, but they also have gone into St. Louis and beat the daylights out of a good Cardinals team (part of the reason they are only 1.5 back is that fact), who are going to be only 3 games over .500 at home. So, the season isn’t over by a long shot. The reason we are all pulling our hair out after this 2-7 road trip (and the 2-5 trip before), is how well this team was playing before May 8th. So, let me ask you this, would you have been excited if I told you before the season they would be at .500 and only 1.5 back in the Wild Card with:
1) Nolan being hurt and miss 8 games (yes, more games missed to come). He is a .345 hitter with 2 outs this season and a .283 hitter with 2 strikes, that folks is why the team misses him offensively as much as defensively.
2) Cuddy would miss close to a month
3) The team’s expected opening-day pitcher, Jhoulys Chacin, would miss all of Spring Training, the first month of the season, would be 0-4, have a 5.51 ERA and 16 walks and only 20Ks, and worse, the team would be 0-6 in games he started. For those who think Spring Training is meaningless (granted the stats are but not the work), he is a great example. And before you say he stinks, this is a pitcher who came into this season with a 37-41 record playing on 3 last place teams and even after this awful season, his ERA is still 3.68 and WHIP of 1.334. His season has really hurt the team.
4) Brett Anderson would only make 2 starts (the third really doesn’t count since it was only 2 innings), and the team would be 0-2 in those games (this is a guy with a career 3.81ERA and WHIP of 1.286, so losing him hurts a lot)
5) Tyler Chatwood would only make 4 starts, and the team would only be 2-2 in those.
6) The team would rely on Fraklin Morales as the 5th starter. Before you say he is worthless (RMH, thinking of you), through the first 5 starts for the team he was 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA. The league is always scouting, always reacting to you (why Charlie Blackmon is getting pitched differently now than in April), which is why teams started taking on first pitch, and making Morales throw a strike. Too often he hasn’t and when you get in hitters counts, you get killed. The problem is that since then he has been miserable (save a couple of good starts). The team is 5-7 in his starts, which to be fair is a lot better the team’s record in 5th starters last year.
7) Would be 2nd in the whole MLB in strikeouts on the road, and near the bottom in walks.
8) Chad Bettis and Wilton Lopez, who were counted on to be important parts of the bullpen would ERAs of 8.78 and 11.37 respectively and both be renting-to-own in Colorado Springs.
9) Would be 2-11 in games where the bullpen is responsible for the outcome. And have already seen 4 walk-offs.
10) Their prize lefty signing, Boone Logan, would have given-up 3 of the 4 walk-offs, and have already allowed 4 homers, 3 to lefties.
11) CarGo’s knee would be that of a 70-year old. For those saying he is washed-up, practically all hitters are dependent on their legs (only slap-hitters like Rod Carew that use their wrists can survive leg injuries). Last year Albert Puljos was a shadow of himself. His legs aren’t perfect, but his OPS is .832 this year with 14 homers. CarGo is not done, but his legs are shot, and desperately need a rest (a DL stint, and I know they don’t want to be without him, but he is really hurting the club right now). Would you think this team would be at .500 with him hitting .258 with an OPS of .769, and on the road hitting .182 with OPS of .614 (BABIP of .197). Where would you think this team would be?
12) That they would have gotten no input from the farm system aside from Nick Masset and Chris Martin. No starts or relief from any of the big prospects.
13) And that at no point would they have swept a series or had more than a 3 game winning streak
So, perspective is everything. Yes, since May 8th this team is 6-14, but only 5 of those games have been at home (3-2). What is hurts, the team has been tied or ahead in the 8th in 5 of those losses. But that is the past. Tulo has slowed down a lot on this last road trip (you knew he could not hold-up the pace he was at before this trip…especially on the road where his BABIP is only .237 explaining his .233 BA and .815 OPS). In losses he is only .241/.750. In wins, .460/1.485, so you know how important he is to this team.
This team has a big home-stand against the DBack, Dodgers and Braves (4games). Yes, two of those are tough teams. And the DBacks are better on the road than at home. And following the Rockies luck the past 3+ weeks, they get their 3 best pitchers this year (we do avoid Wade Miley who has not been very good since shutting down the Rockies in the first home series). The fact is, this team has stunk on the road since going 8-9 to start the season. They have a big hole at 3rd, and their 3rd (Chacin), 4th (Nicasio) and 5th (Morales) starters cannot go 6 innings, walk way-too many hitters, and are basically killing this team on the road (yes, they were shut-out twice, but if this team gets quality starts more regularly on the road, they might have won several more games). They pitch much better at home…why, I can only guess. This is not a home-stand where 6-4 is acceptable. They really need to find a way to go 8-2 or 9-1 on this stand. They have to establish they are not the horrible team they have been on the road (and to be fair, 5 out of 20 games on the road will impact a team, especially one still catching its breath from 40 games in 42 days). They need to make changes to their rotation, in at least 1 spot if not 2 (and Chacin still doesn’t look healthy to me). But they have played well at home, so they have a chance to do exactly that.
After this home-stand and six-game road trip (to San Fran and L.A.) we will know if this season is going to be worth watching in September or smart to deal away parts at the trading deadline (likely Cuddy and DLR, who despite those who say he is not part of their future plans – he is their ace, and the greatest pitcher in the history of Coors, no matter how many pitching prospects you have (the hit rate on pitching prospects is only about 35-40%), he is part of their future and they will trade him away with the idea of re-signing him in the off-season). We should know more in about three weeks. Then we can decide if the season is over.
Until then, let’s not let write 2014 off quite yet. That is not optimism speaking but the facts. Only 1.5 back with 10 more road games than home…you still have a chance (as in all sports, it is hard to win on the road), but yes, the pitching on the road has to be better, the bullpen while needing more rest also has to be better, stop trying to hit 3-run homers every AB, and they have to get more timely hits on the road (though they did hit better in Cleveland so, that is a good sign).
For those who want to be negative, go ahead, write-off the season, but please keep your negativity to yourself (after all if you are sure the season is over, go play golf). Not to say pessimist can’t be here – just saying asking to let the next 3 weeks play out. For the rest of us, as angry, frustrated, and despairing as we may feel right now, we know that in 162 games, only the very great teams avoid spells like this. We know the Rox are not a great team…but the question is, are they a good enough team to come back and play fun winning baseball.
Lets check back in 16 games…we will know a whole lot more then. And maybe we can all be pessimists together…or maybe the Rox will reward your waiting by giving us all reasons to be optimistic!