Colorado Rockies news: Rockies can’t afford defensive slide

I was trying to prepare for a 3-4 road trip. Instead it was 2-5 but it felt a lot worse.

The Rockies have now lost four straight games, all by 7-10 Phillies. In those four painful, error-prone anti-clutch games, the Phillies, who have impressive offense in Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber, outscored the Rockies 32-9.

On the plus side, the Rockies still have a winning record at 10-9 with the 3-16 Reds on deck. Unfortunately, the Rockies, who we’ve come to expect to struggle on the road, struggle in a place we didn’t expect: Fielding.

In four games in Philadelphia, the Rockies had seven errors. Wednesday’s 7-3 defeat was clean, so it was really seven penalties in three games. Ten of those runs were undeserved — just gifts from the Rockies. Ryan McMahon, the usually standout third baseman who ended 2021 as a Gold Glove finalist and had saved twice as many defensive runs as winner Nolan Arenado, made four of the errors. Dom Nuñez, José Iglesias and Conner Joe each added one.

When you look at the errors, combined with the Rockies going 5-to-30, with runners in the scoring position, and the pitchers giving up an average of 5.5 earned runs per game in the series, four losses sounds right. Additionally, there weren’t any great plays that can stop and kickstart rallies, like a Sam Hilliard or Yonathan Daza web jewel against the wall, or a bare-handed McMahon grab to steal a single. Instead, misconceptions like Charlie Blackmon and Randall Grichuk both pausing briefly to watch a fly ball fall between them are more common.

The Rockies aren’t good enough on the plate or on the mound to survive these kinds of mistakes. Not only do you have to do the routine games, you also have to do more of the extraordinary games. So far this season that just isn’t there, barring a few exceptions like Grichuk robs Corey Seagar from a homer or Brendan Rodgers slipping and slamming to retire Matt Vierling.

This is evident in the Rgood statistic, a Baseball Info Solutions calculation in Baseball Reference, which “represents the number of runs above or below average the player was worth, based on games in which he made an exceptional contribution or obviously misplayed the situation”. As a team, the Rockies are at 0, which is a tie for 13th in the MLB. In 2017, the Rockies were best at baseball in Rgood. Even in 2020 they finished fifth and in 2021 shared 10th placeth.

Rockies team defense since 2017

Year RA/G/Rank DefEff/Rank E/Rank DP/Rank Frank Rtot/Rank Rgood/Rank
Year RA/G/Rank DefEff/Rank E/Rank DP/Rank Frank Rtot/Rank Rgood/Rank
2022 28./27.5 .647/30 13/T-23 24/1 .981/T-23 9/T-26 0/T-13
2021 4.94/22 .686/25 73/5 140/7 .987/T-4 27.10 1/T-10
2020 5.88/30 .675/26 43/T-26 78/1 .981/T-21st 9/T-10 2/T-5
2019 5.91/29 .677/25 97/T-16 165/3 .984/T-12 6/T-14 10/T-2
2018 4.57/20 .688/T-18 74/3 162/3 .988/T-2nd 36/T-6 3/6
2017 4.67/14 0.683/T-18 77/3 168/4 .987/T-2nd 19/8 14th/1st

After finishing 2021 with the 5th fewest errors in MLB, the Rockies already have 13, which is 23rd this season. Worse, when it comes to defensive efficiency, the percentage of balls in the game that convert to outs, the Rockies rank last. While I think the Rockies are a consistently solid defensive team, the Rockies got 18 pointsth in that category in their playoff-tied years of 2017 and 2018. They have been No. 25 or No. 26 for the past three seasons.

In Rtot (Total Zone Total Fielding Runs Above Average), which calculates total defensive contribution by “the number of runs above or below average the player was worth based on the number of games made,” the Rockies tied for 26 areth at nine. During their last three non-playoff seasons, the Rockies’ lowest finish in Rtot was 2019 when they averaged 14 pointsth.

While 2022 has been marked by sloppy field work so far, the season is still young. There is enough time to correct this. McMahon needs to regain his confidence before his sanity drives him nuts over every Grounder. The Rockies need some notable games to get back on track defensively.

One thing that has remained constant is Colorado’s ability to turn double plays. The Rockies got 24 of them, which is the best in MLB. This is their bread and butter. If the Rockies can keep making double plays, maybe they’ll be able to dig their way out of the messy hole they dug in their first 18 games and find their footing and field strength along the way.

★★★

Cardinals’ Nolan Arenado, Génesis Cabrera suspended for incident against the Mets | CBSsports.com

Nolan Arenado has had an amazing start to 2022. Through Thursday’s action, he leads second in the National League in RBI (17), third in batting average (.382) and hits (26), and fourth in home runs with five. After playing a key role in a bench-clearing battle against the Mets on Wednesday, the former Rockie now faces a two-game suspension that he is appealing.

It’s Not Just Baseball: Why Hit Batters and Command Issues Seem to Be Trending The Athlete ($)

It is strange. The Mets have been hit by a pitch 19 times. The pirates, none. Even though team distribution is uneven, hit batters have been on the rise in recent years. The numbers have been increasing since the early 1980s. This season, however, the numbers are slightly down. Brittany Ghiroli and Eno Sarris examine the trend, which may have more to do with rewarding speed over control, movement over command, and higher pitches that move more inward than a lack of “sticky stuff” or alternating baseball bats.

★★★

On the farm

Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes 13, Sacramento River Cats 2

The Isotopes had a home run party Thursday when five different players hit them on Albuquerque’s road to a blowout win, though five of the six home runs were solo shots. Brian Serven led with two homers and now has five in the season. Wynton Bernard also hit his fifth homer of the season and Sean Bouchard added his third while Taylor Synder hit his second. LJ Hatch hit his first homer of the season and was the only Isotope to do so Thursday with another person on base. Albuquerque finished the game with 15 hits, enough for the two field errors they committed not to injure them. Brandon Gold got the start for the Isotopes, giving up just two runs despite seven hits in four innings. Reagan Todd threw two scoreless innings for the win, and Logan Cozart, Jake Bird, and Nate Griep all added scoreless innings.

Double-A: Harrisburg Senators and Hartford Yard Goats share doubleheaders

After losing 6-1 in game one, the Yard Goats came back and won game two 6-5 thanks to Willie MacIver’s solo home run in the top of the seventh inning, which turned out to be the game winner. Brenton Doyle and Jake Alu hit in the third consecutive solo home runs for Hartford. Trent Fennell got off to a rough start, giving up four runs in four hits, including two home runs, and two walks in three innings. PJ Poulin, Blair Calvo and Nick Kennedy combined for four innings without a goal to give MacIver a chance to win.

In the first game, the Yard Goats led 1-0 after three innings after Michael Toglia scored a goal for Isaac Collins with a sacrificial fly in the third inning. After three scoreless frames, Hartford starter Nick Bush gave up three home runs. Dugan Darnell gave up a two-run homer in the sixth inning, and the deficit was too great to overcome.

High-A: Everett Aquasox 9, Spokane Indians 1

When Benjamin Sems tripled and scored for Spokane when Eddy Diaz hit a sack fly, the Indians cut the Aquasox lead to 2-1 midway through the fifth. The game remained tight through the seventh inning when Anderson Bido gave up a three-run homer and a two-run double as part of a seven-run inning that put the game out of reach. Tony Locey started for Spokane, giving up two runs on four hits with four walks and five strikeouts in 3 23 innings

Low-A: Fresno Grizzlies 9, Stockton Ports 2

Juan Brito hit a two-run triple, an RBI double and a sack fly and Adael Amador hit a home run to lead the Grizzlies to victory Thursday night. Fresno went 4-0 after two innings and never looked back. Denzel Clarke and Nick Brueser hit back-to-back RBI doubles and Juan Gerrero added a two-run single. Fresno starter Evan Shawver improved to 2-0 in the season after throwing a solid five innings and giving up two runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts. The bullpen allowed just one hit in four scoreless innings with six more strikeouts to end the win.

★★★

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