Rockies now need a miracle to avoid first-ever 100-loss season
Aug 24, 2023, 3:29 PM
After blowing three-straight leads at the Trop to begin their east coast road trip, the Colorado Rockies aren’t just on pace for their first 100-loss season, they are actually on pace to lose 101 games.
On Thursday, the Rockies fell to 48-79 and now need to win 15 of their final 35 games in order to avoid 100 losses. They’re traveling from co-leading AL East Tampa Bay to its other co-leader in Baltimore for a three-game weekend set. Then it’s the NL East-leading Braves in Denver, followed by playoff-bound Toronto. Of the 35 games left, Colorado will only play three against sub-.500 teams, a road trip to San Diego.
Simply said, there’s no reprise from the Rockies coming soon, and they’re staring down the barrel of baseball infamy.
“They beat us—the first game got away from us in the eighth—a function of execution. The second game was a good game, right there with them and the same thing in the third game today,” Bud Black said on Thursday of the Rays sweep at Tropicana Field. “At times, you tip your hat to guys with power. You’re going to throw 150 pitches a night and you’re not going to execute all of them—you can point to that if you want but it happens. The last two games we were right there with them but they just got us.”
Black caught some eyeballs after the Rockies Tuesday loss when the team gave up eight runs in blowing an eighth-inning lead. Black chalked it up to “that’s baseball” and a game of inches.
The loss on Thursday was the fourth-straight blown lead going back to Sunday’s loss against the White Sox. And yeah Colorado shipped away some arms at the deadline which has led to less depth and top-end performers in the bullpen, but this has gotten even uglier quickly.
How has it gotten so bad for the Colorado Rockies?
The Rockies 6-14 August has seen just four players hitting above league average (according to wRC+) and nine batting below league average. This includes Michael Toglia’s wRC+ of 12 (88% below league average) which is second-worst among players still active in MLB with at least 40 trips to the plate this month, the third and fourth-worst are former Rockie Randal Grichuk and current Rockie Brenton Doyle (each over 85% worse than league average at the plate.) Meanwhile, Daniel Bard’s -0.5 fWAR this month is the worst pitching performance in baseball.
There has been some sneaky good news in this awful month of baseball, rookie Ezequiel Tovar is having maybe the best month of his career at the plate while youngster Nolan Jones has become a force in the lineup. Jones was a triple shy of the cycle on Thursday and like Tovar and also Ryan McMahon, has gone deep four times this month.
So will the Rockies drop 100 games? Continuing the losing streak against Baltimore and Atlanta seems plausible and if Colorado does indeed make this four-gamer a 10-gamer, they’d need to go above .500 the rest of the way to finish with less than 100 losses. The road to 100 is clear, a detour might need a miracle now.