Trouble at Home?
The Rockies are 17 games into their 2018 campaign, and already have an interesting season on their hands. Home-opening weekend was a bit tumultuous. Rockies walked away with one win in their three-game series against the Braves - a disappointing start to our Rockies faithful here at home. Colorado would go on to lose a string of of four losses in five games, but it's worth noting the Rockies have played 11 of their 17 games on the road. It's within these first games that trends emerge and eery predictions creep up. Colorado's 2-4 record at home glaringly contrasts with their 7-4 performance on the road, and many can't help but feel the team and its star players are plagued by the Coors Field Curse.
Among the players, one standout has been the quiet play of NL 2017 Batting Champion Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon's home AVG sits at a low 0.100 in comparison with his 0.351 AVG on the road. Presumably fans are appreciative of his strong performance while traveling, but it begs the question - what on earth is going on at Coors Field?
Like Blackmon, Ian Desmond's play has been noticeably better on the road as evidenced in his game winning homerun last night against the Nationals. This crucial play makes his 0.050 AVG at home a bit confusing.
Similarly, Carlos Gonzales has yet to come "on" for this season. While not playing poorly, Gonzales has yet to rise to the expectations many have of him with a midgrade 0.237 AVG.
Second baseman, DJ LeMahieu, remains consistently at the top of the Rockies scoresheet whether he's playing under Coors Field lights or competing arenas. His reliable play has helped to keep Rockies above 0.500 for the season so far.
In addition, Nolan Arenado holds the highest batting average at home and maintains a still-impressive record on the road solidifying his consistency as well.
On the mound, Adam Ottavino has been a rock with a 0.93 ERA leaving just a little less to worry about where pitching is concerned.
Chris Iannetta's return to the Rockies despite his free agency stint has proven a formidable addition to round-out Colorado's offense as well.
So, What's Next for the Rockies,?
Some might perceive this deficit to be the lesser of two evils since the majority of games played have been away - having an at-home problem may be the easiest to remedy as the home field is often at an advantage.
As it happens, Rockies face the Pirates tonight in Pittsburgh. They'll be without Nolan Arenado due to suspension, but Blackmon's recent return from injury allows him just the platform to come into his own.
So long as their hot players remain hot and their quiet contributors find their groove at home, I anticipate the Colorado Rockies can prove strong contenders come September.
-- Meghan Angley