The Colorado Rockies got crushed on Monday night 11-4. It shouldn't have been a huge surprise to anyone.
Kyle Kendrick was due for a clunker and it may as well come when he was facing Clayton Kershaw. No lose should be easy to take, but the odds were stacked against the Rockies on Monday night, and considering their recent success, losing Monday wasn't the end of the world.
The rest of the homestand, however, is a different story.
Going into Monday night, the Rockies had won 7-of-8, five of those wins coming on the road. The run has helped to erase much of the damage done by the 11-game losing streak that the team stumbled through in early May. The Rockies have to be one of the most confusing teams in all of Major League Baseball. One day they can look like they have the lineup to out-slug every team in baseball, with a group of young starting pitchers that are good enough to go deep into the game and keep opposing offenses at bay. The next day they can look like a team whose last four members of their starting rotation can't get through the 5th inning, and an offense that can't score more than a few runs.
Which team are the Rockies?
The answer isn't as complex as it seems. The Rockies are both of those teams. They are a team with young starters who are going to struggle and an offense with an all-or-nothing approach at the plate. The young starters are going to get beat up from time-to-time and the offense is going to struggle to hit for power on occasion. Veteran pitchers like Kyle Kendrick are going to have outings where they get ground balls, and other times out where they watch their pitches fly out of the park.
The offense is going to have nights where they hit four home runs and score seven runs. As a team with absolutely no speed, as the Rockies might be not the slowest team in Major League Baseball, but the slowest team in recent memory in Major League Baseball, the Rockies are going to have nights where they can't move runners and manufacturer runs and scratch out a win.
Many Rockies fans will point to the fact that the team wins against the bad teams, like the Reds and the Phillies, but loses to teams like the Dodgers. They are correct in that observation. However, they need to remember that the Rockies have to start somewhere. In recent years, the script would be flipped and the opposing teams would be upset if they lost to the lowly Rockies. It isn't like the Rockies are an elite team that should be expected to feast on bottom feeders, they are coming from being bottom feeders and fighting their way to mediocrity.
Colorado isn't going to right the ship overnight. They aren't going to suddenly become a great team in one season. This is a building season for the Rockies. Of course, cynical fans will say that they have been hearing that for several years. Again, those fans are correct. Rockies fans have been asked to endure several years of thinking about 'next year.' So why is this year any different?
That answer comes in the form of a new front office. Critics will say that Jeff Bridich was hired from within, so it isn't much different. However, that simply isn't true. Not only has Bridich made decisions that would have been a complete shock in the Dan O'Dowd era. In addition, the early success of the Rockies on the road should suggest that Bridich is helping to establish a new identity in Colorado, something that was more important than anything.
So ultimately, who are these Rockies? The answer will come over the course of the next 10 days when the Rockies play 10 straight at home. If this team can figure out their home issues, and get a run of some warm weather at home, they could string off some wins and be right around the .500 mark. It would put them in a good position moving forward.
However, if they struggle through the homestand, it may become a definition of a season in which the team will accept losing and accept being a bad team.
The next 10 games are a huge turning point for the Rockies. It will define their season.