The Coors Effect

April 11, 2010 9:52 PM

Week 1 in review: Rockies break even

So, the first week of the season probably could have gone better (read: more wins), but it wasn't a bad week by any stretch.  The Rockies outscored their opponents, 29-22, but came away just 3-3 despite that positive run differential.  Hopefully it's not a sign of things to come that the team has played two one-run games, and lost both of them.  Still, luck in close games aside, there wasn't a whole lot to complain about in the first week of the season.

Okay.  Breathe a little easier.  The Rockies offense has been remarkably consistent -- through six games, they haven't scored fewer than four runs, and only once have they scored more than five (Friday's win over the Padres.)  The pitching?  Not so much.  In the three games started by Ubaldo Jimenez or Jorge de la Rosa, opposing offenses have managed to score just five runs.  In the other three games, they've scored... seventeen.  Weak performances by Greg Smith, Aaron Cook, and Jason Hammel are to blame, though in fairness, the Rockies had a chance to win in each of those games.

Now, as much as I say the offense has been consistent, I mean that from game to game, the offense has been pretty darned consistent.  Of course, the offense has been... somewhat inconsistent within games.  That old bugaboo dealing with Runners In Scoring Position (RISP) is haunting the Rockies.  Through Saturday's game:

Rockies hitters, bases empty: .300/.336/.573, 6 HR
Rockies hitters, runners on: .221/.291/.299, 1 HR

Geez.  That's killer.  Including today's game, the Rockies have hit eight homers.  Seven of them have been of the solo variety.  The only one that wasn't was Clint Barmes's three-run shot in the eighth inning Friday, when the Rockies were already up 4-0.  Sabermetricians think that all that "clutch" stuff is baloney, but it's pretty clear, at least through the first week of the season, that Rockies hitters are, ahem, the opposite of clutch.  While it often feels as though the Rockies do this every year, though, in actuality the Rockies haven't hit worse with runners on base in the past, so expect this to correct itself.   That means that the offense will wind up being even better -- while it's unreasonable to expect the Rockies to continue to have a .909 OPS as a team with the bases empty, they're also not going to continue to have a .590 OPS with runners on base.  Both numbers should correct themselves toward the team's overall .777 OPS.

Heroes of the Week

Ubaldo Jimenez: 2 GS, 12 IP, 1.50 ERA, 13 K, 3 BB.  2 wins.  I shouldn't need to explain this one.
2.  Jorge de la Rosa: 1 GS, 7 IP, 0.00 ERA, 9 K, 1 BB.  Nor should I have to explain this.
3.  Ian Stewart: 9-for-23 (.391), 2 HR, 5 RBI, .783 SLG: Big week for Stewart.  Flip a coin between him and Hawpe; I'll go with Stewart, since Hawpe managed to drive in two runs all week (despite hitting two homers.)

Bums of the Week

1.  Chris Iannetta
: 1-for-12, 1 HR, 1 RBI.  He isn't striking out a ton, but he's in danger of losing his starting job to Miguel Olivo.  Before you scream "Olivo doesn't take walks!" I'll point out that Clint Barmes has a starting job despite a sub-.300 OBP.
2.  Troy Tulowitzki: 6-for-26, 0 HR, 4 RBI.  Still convinced that the season starts sometime in May.
3.  Melvin Mora: 1-for-9, 0 HR, 1 RBI.  In limited duty, Mora has as many errors as hits.

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