Cause of death
Call the coroner.
The the Colorado Rockies’ 2019 baseball season requires a proper burial.
An extended stretch of horrific baseball from mid-June to mid-July prompted the Rockies’ demise, resulting in the premature conclusion of the 2019 season for all practical purposes.
From June to present, the Rockies went 11-23. During that time, the Rockies suffered a pair of six-game losing streaks. That stretch of losing baseball also included lopsided losses to the Reds (17-9), Giants (19-2) and Nationals (11-1).
The standings as of July 29 have the Rockies in last place in the National League West – 20.5 games behind the division-leading Dodgers. An overall record of 50-57 ties the Rockies with the Mets and Padres for the fourth-worst record in the National League. Only the Marlins, Reds and Pirates are worse.
As for the obituary …
Like many seasons, the 2019 Major League Baseball season arrived with lofty expectations for the Rockies. Having made an appearance in the playoffs under skipper Bud Black in both 2017 and 2018, it was only natural to assume the Rockies would continue in an upward-trending trajectory in 2019.
With stars like Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon and David Dahl dotting the roster, the offense looked to be potent. Under Black’s watchful eye, the pitching was a strength in 2018, and that prompted optimism on Blake Street as well headed into 2019.
The hitting has been good, as the Rockies rank fifth in the league with a team batting average of .265. That has not been enough, though, to overcome a pitching staff that has a combined earned run average of 5.42, ranking it 19th among MLB teams.
Overall, the Rockies have simply not found ways to win as they did in 2018. They have lost low-scoring games when pitching has been adequate, failing to get timely hits when they were needed.
On days when the bats have been adequate, or even spectacular, pitching has collapsed to drop games such as a 9-8 loss to the Astros, an 11-8 loss to the Giants, a 12-8 loss to the Dodgers and losses to the Padres of 14-3 and 16-12.
The players will still dress up in their uniforms and show up to play. Fans will still attend. Beer will still be sold. The score, and standings, will still be kept. Those activities will continue through Sept. 29.
Good players will play out the rest of the season as though it mattered. Younger, less experienced players – especially pitchers – will get more opportunities to showcase their abilities.
Black will continue to manage, and will likely do all he can to keep the mood in the clubhouse light and upbeat.
The scouting department will frantically scramble to find help on the mound, while top executives will hold endless back-room meetings to discuss who stays, and who goes on the current roster.
Fans will gravitate toward anything that might render some small sense of optimism for next season. As the offseason wears on over the winter months, reasons for optimism will grow, or will be artificially manufactured as needed.
Memories of the 2019 season will mercifully begin to fade from our collective memory.
Spring workouts will begin in 2020 with high hopes for a new team, a new season and a chance for redemption.
In late March, hope will spring eternal and a new season will begin.