Rocks on road
toward failure

Aug 22, 2006 4:59 AM

The schedule is dealing Colorado a bitter blow to its fleeting chances at both an NL Wild Card berth and West Division title.

The Rockies were with two games of the .500 level, but in the past week dropped two of three to Arizona and were swept in New York by the Mets. So starting this week, Colorado is six games out. Not insurmountable, but far enough away to be mighty concerned.

The Sept. 1-6 road trip to Los Angeles and San Diego probably will determine Colorado’s fate, but it’s imperative that the Rocks hold their own prior to that vital trip. Immediately ahead is a three-game trip to Milwaukee, followed by a six-game homestand at Coors Field against the Padres and Mets.

Again, it has been the road that has cost Colorado, a franchise that has known mostly misery away from Coors. The Rockies had not fared badly away from home the first half of the season, but since the All Star break Colorado is just 5-15 on foreign turf.

Jason Jennings has bore the brunt of the team’s failures. Jennings lost a well-pitched 2-0 game at Shea Stadium, dropping him to 1-4 in his last 11 starts. The ace right-hander allowed just four hits in six innings and has seen the Rockies score just nine runs in his last six starts.

Jennings has a solid 3.31 ERA for the season in anchoring a staff that is among the leaders in the National League in team ERA (4.10).

Outfielder Matt Holliday leads the Rocks in homers (22) and batting average (.328), while third baseman Garrett Atkins leads in RBI (87). Lefty Brian Fuentes has been one of the NL’s top closers, posting 23 saves.

The Rockies do enjoy a nice 10-game homestand in mid-September. The problem is it may be too late by then to take advantage of Coors Field and make a closing run.