Rockies Running in Neutral When It's Clutch Time

The season is only 37 games old. The Rockies are in second-place in the NL West, having compiled a 21-16 record. They are 3 1/2 games back of division-leading Arizona, two games ahead of the third-place Giants, 4 1/2 up on the Dodgers, and 7 1/2 ahead of the Padres.

And the Rockies have reason to feel that things can get better. They are where they are despite suffering through the worst stretch of games of clutch-hitting in franchise history. A team known for it's offense suffered an 8-0 to the Angels on Wednesday afternoon.

It's not like they didn't have opportunities. They were hitless in 12 at-bats with runners in scoring position, only the ninth time they have failed to get a hit with a runner in scoring position in which they had 12 or more at-bats. What's more, they struck out a franchise-record eight times with a runner in scoring position.

Nine Games of Nothing

Date Opp AB RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG
6/30/1999 SF 12 0 1 2 0 0.077 0
9/9/2005 Ari 13 1 1 4 0 0.071 0
8/15/2006 Ari 13 0 1 0 0 0.071 0
8/24/2008 Cin 16 0 3 5 0 0.158 0
9/26/2009 StL 13 0 1 5 0 0.071 0
4/16/2011 ChC 12 1 0 2 0 0.133 0
6/8/2013 SD 15 1 0 5 0 0 0
5/28/2014 Phi 13 0 5 3 0 0.278 0
5/9/2018 LAA 12 0 1 8 0 0.077 0

Wednesday's game was the low point of the season, but when it comes to clutch hitting the Rockies don't really have anything to brag about. Wednesday was a continuation of a season-long problem. The Rockies are last in the NL in batting average with a runner in scoring position.

This is a franchise that in its previous 25 years of existence has failed to hit .260 or better with a runner in scoring position only three times. It is a team that has had five of the top 10 averages with a runner in scoring position in MLB during it's first 25 years of existence. The Rockies have hit better than .300 as a team with runners in scoring position for a season three times. 

Season AVG Team Season AVG
2018 0.22 St. Louis Cardinals 2013 0.33
2011 0.245 Colorado Rockies 1996 0.311
2008 0.256 Colorado Rockies 2000 0.309
2009 0.259 Atlanta Braves 2018 0.306
2004 0.259 Colorado Rockies 1998 0.301
1994 0.26 Atlanta Braves 2003 0.299
2005 0.265 St. Louis Cardinals 1977 0.299
2003 0.267 Cincinnati Reds 1994 0.298
2006 0.267 Colorado Rockies 1999 0.296
2010 0.27 Colorado Rockies 1997 0.295

Truth is, it is surprising to think the Rockies have won six of their 12 series this season, split the two-game set the Angels and lost five other series. They actually took 2 of 3 from the Pirates whiile hitting .111 with runners in scoring position, and three out of four against the Nationals with two hits in 19 at-bats with a runner in scoring position.

Start Date Opp W-L AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP
4/23/2018 SD 2-1 15 7 1 1 2 15 2 2 0.467 0.474
4/2/2018 SD 3-1 32 11 5 0 0 15 6 7 0.344 0.436
4/9/2018 SD 1-2 16 4 0 0 1 8 4 5 0.25 0.409
5/4/2018 NYM 3-0 26 6 2 0 0 8 4 6 0.231 0.323
4/20/2018 ChC 1-2 32 7 2 1 0 11 8 9 0.219 0.39
4/30/2018 ChC 2-1 23 5 1 0 1 8 2 7 0.217 0.28
3/29/2018 Ari 1-2 11 2 0 0 1 4 2 4 0.182 0.308
4/6/2018 Atl 1-2 18 3 0 1 0 3 3 5 0.167 0.286
5/8/2018 LAA 1-1 19 3 1 0 0 4 1 10 0.158 0.2
4/27/2018 Mia 1-2 17 2 1 0 0 1 4 6 0.118 0.286
4/16/2018 Pit 2-1 18 2 0 0 1 7 0 1 0.111 0.111
4/12/2018 Was 3-1 19 2 1 0 0 4 0 4 0.105 0.1

Other than Antonio Senzatela, who is 1-for-1 with a runner in scoring position, the Rockies only have four players hitting better than .290 in those situations. They have seven players with five or more at-bats with runners in scoring position hitting below .180.

Player AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG OBP
Antonio Senzatela 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 1
David Dahl 7 4 0 1 0 4 2 1 0.571 0.667
Nolan Arenado 27 9 3 0 2 13 7 7 0.333 0.457
Charlie Blackmon 16 5 1 0 1 9 4 3 0.313 0.45
Trevor Story 30 9 4 1 2 16 7 13 0.3 0.436
Tony Wolters 7 2 0 0 0 5 2 0 0.286 0.455
DJ LeMahieu 20 5 1 0 0 6 2 1 0.25 0.318
Carlos Gonzalez 22 5 1 1 0 8 1 6 0.227 0.24
Ian Desmond 34 6 3 0 0 8 1 11 0.176 0.194
Daniel Castro 6 1 0 0 0 3 0 1 0.167 0.167
Ryan McMahon 6 1 0 0 0 3 4 2 0.167 0.5
Chris Iannetta 21 3 0 0 1 7 4 6 0.143 0.28
Gerardo Parra 14 2 0 0 0 4 2 2 0.143 0.25
Pat Valaika 15 1 0 0 0 1 0 4 0.067 0.067
Tyler Anderson 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Chad Bettis 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Noel Cuevas 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kyle Freeland 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0
Jon Gray 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
German Marquez 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Chris Rusin 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
Mike Tauchman 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0

It will be interesting to see what happens in the four-game series with the Brewers at Coors Field this weekend. The Rockies and Brewers rank 14th and 15th in the NL with runners in scoring position despite both of them playing in ballparks considered to be offensively friendly.

Team AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Atlanta Braves 304 93 25 1 15 137 43 59 0.306
Pittsburgh Pirates 283 79 18 1 11 123 34 60 0.279
San Diego Padres 284 75 20 3 9 101 26 83 0.264
Philadelphia Phillies 292 77 15 1 14 130 41 87 0.264
Cincinnati Reds 310 81 14 1 5 100 49 74 0.261
Los Angeles Dodgers 313 79 19 3 6 115 49 86 0.252
Washington Nationals 318 78 11 1 12 122 60 83 0.245
Arizona Diamondbacks 263 63 14 4 7 100 52 74 0.24
New York Mets 245 58 9 1 9 105 48 68 0.237
St. Louis Cardinals 254 60 15 0 6 92 37 62 0.236
Chicago Cubs 319 75 14 1 5 118 39 83 0.235
San Francisco Giants 288 67 15 1 11 100 40 81 0.233
Miami Marlins 268 62 12 0 6 82 32 71 0.231
Colorado Rockies 246 54 14 3 6 88 36 66 0.22
Milwaukee Brewers 276 56 9 0 10 84 36 74 0.203