Road unkind a
gain to Rocks

Sep 5, 2006 2:05 AM

We’re signing off on the Rockies for another season.

While our bank account increased with all the losing Colorado has done recently on the road, the fact sadly remains to the home folks that all the talk of improving that abysmal record of previous years away from Coors Field failed to materialize.

Last Saturday’s 14-5 loss at Dodger Stadium in microcosm showed why Colorado has struggled not to be a last place ballclub this decade. The Rockies were actually holding their own at Caesars Palace, opening the year at 150-1 to win the World Series and 75-1 to win the National League pennant. The numbers as of Sept. 1 were 125-1 and 65-1 in those respective categories.

Colorado has been especially brutal against the NL West leading Dodgers, going a horrendous 12-3 prior to Sunday’s finale at Chavez Ravine. The Rockies have also helped the Dodgers lengthen the division lead to four games over San Diego by going 10-6 against the Padres.

The Rockies began play Sunday a full 11 games behind the Dodgers. Colorado has not won consecutive games since Aug. 11 and 12 against the Cubs in Denver. The Rockies have gone 3-11 since an 8-4 win over Arizona at home on Aug. 17. That slide includes eight straight road losses and 12 of the last 13.

The New York Mets also contributed to Colorado’s demise, taking five straight including taking 5-of-6, including three at Shea Stadium. The pitching staff, carrying one of the top team ERAs in the NL most of the season, has allowed 10 runs or more four times in the last nine games. Coupled with an offense that has gone through a number of dry spells and you have another frustrating year.

The ingredients are there for a solid ballclub in the coming years with Jason Jennings, Jeff Francis and closer Brian Fuentes on the pitching staff and the hitting led by Gold Glove first baseman Todd Helton and mid 20s talents Garrett Atkins, Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe.

Whether management will continue to back Clint Hurdle as manager is something we’ll find out during the offseason. We picked Colorado to go from last to first in the NL West and the Rockies were ahead of the pack in the first half of the season. But, that’s when the team was actually winning on the road.