What the Colorado Rockies must achieve away from Coors Field

May 8, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman Brendan Rodgers (7) looks on from the dugout during the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies have finished with a winning record on the road just three times in their history.

It happened for the first time in 2009, the best overall year for the franchise, when they managed to go 41-40 away from Coors Field. The second time was in 2017 when, once again, the club just barely snuck in a winning road record with the exact same 41-40 mark.

In 2018, Colorado comfortably had their best season away from home, with an eye-popping-in-context 44-38 campaign. 

If you’re wondering, the year of their only World Series appearance (2007) the Rockies had a 39-43 road record. And way back in 1995, their first time playing October baseball, they went 33-39 away from home in a strike-shortened season.

So, pretty much no matter what, this team is going to struggle on the road. The question is how bad will it be and can it be overcome?

At no point has this dynamic been more stark than for the first several months of 2021. They began 3-22 on the road, did not win their first road series until July 9-11, and ended 26-54.

As of May 9, 2022, the team sits at 5-7 and has won sets in Texas and Detroit. They are off to San Francisco in search of their sixth win away from home, something they didn’t achieve until June 9 a year ago.

So while their foray in Philly was brutal and they are likely to lose both of their inter-divisional series here at the start of May, it is important to put the lack of success into proper context. 

For a team that doesn’t have the top end talent to hang with the elite teams, and one that lacks depth in key areas, they cannot afford to fall into the kind of extreme slumps that have plagued them in the past.

They’ve shown an ability to continue to dominate at home, where their pitching staff especially manages the chaos of the environment better than the visitors. If they can keep that up, it simply means that in order to get over .500 and challenge for a postseason spot, they can’t be terrible on the road.

In other words, they can’t be what they were last year?

But how much improvement can be expected and how much is reasonable?

If they can manage .400 away from the friendly confines of home, that should make things very interesting in September and October. Anything under that makes things quite a bit more difficult. Anything over it places them closer and closer to true contention.

This means that the magic number for road wins for this team should be about 34, which is eight games better than last year.

Understanding this, they are off to a great start but they absolutely have to keep whatever momentum they can. There’s a huge difference between getting swept and figuring out a way to steal a game in each road series you play. 

The most recent series in Arizona was the perfect example. Outside of the ninth inning of the second game, they scored just one run all series. The Hangover Effect is real. But they pitched well enough, limited the mistakes, and got just enough key hits to win one game. This is the formula, ugly as it is.

The Colorado Rockies aren’t going to score a lot of runs on the road, and they aren’t going to win a lot of games on the road. This has always been and will likely always be. But, somehow without strong contributions from their two most important players (German Marquez, Kris Bryant) they’ve already proven to themselves that they can find ways to tackle this unique problem.

Can they find their way to road decency? And if so, can they keep up their dominance at home? If so, we will be seeing a lot of purple in the fall.

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