The Colorado Rockies entered their series this week against the San Diego Padres with the worst park-adjusted offense in the National League and the lowest road OPS in all of baseball. The Padres, meanwhile, had the lowest ERA in the majors and just completed a sweep of the previously best-in-baseball St. Louis Cardinals.
It came as little surprise, then, when the Padres easily dispatched of the Rockies in another three-game sweep, and not much more of a shock that they held Colorado to just one total run in the series.
It was the fourth time in club history that the Rockies were held to one run in a three-game series, according to Rockies PR (via Rox Pile). Colorado didn’t have a lower batting average or on-base percentage in any of those series than it did this week, making this perhaps the worst offensive series in Rockies history. The club is now 2-18 on the road and its .341 overall winning percentage (thanks to a 15-29 record) is tied with that of the Minnesota Twins for the worst mark in baseball.
The Rockies played what was probably their worst game of the season in the opener on Monday, falling 7-0 in a game that featured poor starting pitching, bad offense, and ugly defense from the NL West cellar dwellers. Jon Gray, who has been good up to this point, allowed five earned runs on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He didn’t help himself in the field, committing a pair of errors that led to runs. Trevor Story also misplayed a couple of grounders and Colorado had a pair of wild pitches. At the plate, the Rockies had only four hits, failed to draw a walk, and struck out 12 times.
Colorado got much better pitching on Tuesday and Wednesday, but 32 more strikeouts combined with just eight hits naturally led to just one total run. In the three games, the Rockies struck out 44 times, walked only four, and had 12 hits in 96 at-bats.
Ugly. Just plain ugly.
On the bright side
Austin Gomber and Chi Chi Gonzalez combined to allow just three runs in 12 innings during the second and third games of the series. Gonzalez’s double off of Joe Musgrove was one of just two hits the Rockies’ offense mustered in the finale.
Jordan Sheffield struck out two batters in a scoreless inning of work on Tuesday. The 25-year-old right-hander, plucked from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft this past offseason, has been used sparingly but he’s making the most of his opportunities. Sheffield owns a 1.32 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings. He’s given up just six hits and is averaging 96.1 mph on his fastball.
Having the 27-17 Padres, who have won nine of their last 10 games, in the rearview mirror will help. The Rockies now head back home to face the 18-25 Arizona Diamondbacks in a battle of the two worst teams in the division. The D-backs have been ravaged by injuries as of late; as such, their rotation is in shambles and it’s not clear who will start when during the weekend series. Germán Márquez and Antonio Senzatela will take the hill for the Rockies in Games 1 and 2, with the aforementioned Gray following in the finale.