Pitching, Defense and Bats…Oh My

Getting swept by the Braves is one thing, getting beat by the Padres something else entirely. While this three game series at PetCo park was seen as almost a given, a given that the team would step up to the challenge, last nights game was anything but.  The unfortunate part of it is, you can’t even say it was more of the same because the glaring weakness we’ve seen so far (starting pitching) wasn’t the only issues last night.  It was the bats that didn’t show up.  The very same bats that gave us 19 runs in the Braves series must have been left at Coors because really the only highlight from last nights game was a home run by Drew Pomeranz!

As a team, the one almost constant has been that they can hit.  You can feel pretty confident with a Rockies lineup that you will have at least one or two that can get the bat on the ball.  Sure, some players are colder than others (I’m looking at you Tulo), and many of them don’t have averages you’d expect, but hitting isn’t something you’d think of as a problem.  The obvious problem is our pitching, something that not one single person can say they are surprised about.  It has been documents, debated and beat to death.  Pitching, coming into the season was extremely questionable and so far it has been worse than expected.

But hitting?  If that goes cold we could make history, and not the kind you brag about around the cooler.

As we all know, baseball is more than just hitting and pitching.  The third leg of the triangle is something the Rockies have ALWAYS taken pride in.

That would be defense.

Defense is, up to this point, something that Rockies fans have taken extreme pride in.  Diving catches by Tulo and Cargo with Todd’s Glove O’ Magnet were nightly on display.  The ’07 Rockies made MLB history with the best fielding percentage ever.

So, imaging the shock when Blake Street Bulletin put out an excellent article today pegging the Rockies as, “Baseball’s Worst Defensive Team“.  The article covers how the team is last in several categories you’d expect them to be in.

For example, DSR:

The first thing that jumps out about the 2012 Rockies is that they are dead last in baseball in defensive runs saved. Currently, the Blue Jays lead MLB in that department with a 29 DRS score. The Rockies are at the far opposite end of the spectrum with a -32 (that’s right, negative 32), which is the worst number in baseball by an incredibly wide margin.

And then there is UZR:

For those that prefer UZR as a defensive metric, again the Rockies score as the worst defensive team in baseball with a -14.9. According to the metrics, as a team they have very limited range, commit too many errors, and are below league average in both throwing and turning double plays. See a trend developing here?

The one bright spot, as the article points out and as fans realize, the team can easily improve on this.  The talent is thick on the field, Cuddy and whoever is at 3rd notwithstanding, so “fixing” it should just be a matter of regaining focus.

But, without hitting, pitching and defense we should be extremely “proud” that our boys have scratched out the 12 runs they have so far!

The biggest scare of all?  If we lose the next two we will be tied in wins with…the Padres.

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