Coming off a 91-win season in 2018, anything seemed possible for the Colorado Rockies entering this year.
What seemed impossible is that the team could be so bad to open 2019. Coming off an 18-inning, 3-2 loss to the Giants on Friday — the marathon actually ended after midnight in the Bay area — the Rockies lost again Saturday, 5-2, their eighth straight defeat. Since opening the season with two wins, the Rockies have lost 12 of 13. Their 3-12 start is the worst in franchise history.
Madison Bumgarner pitched seven innings for the Giants, yielding two runs and six hits and striking out seven to earn his first win of 2019.
And so the Rockies’ woes continue, and the frustration showed Saturday. After Nolan Arenado struck out looking on an inside pitch in the sixth inning, he argued with home plate umpire D.J. Reyburn and tossed his helmet and bat to show his anger.
Despite a lineup loaded with good hitters, the Rockies rank last in the majors in OPS (.573) and they are averaging only 2.8 runs, 28th in the league. The pitching has been OK — Colorado pitchers rank near the league median in metrics such as ERA and WHIP — but that anaemic offense must get untracked or this season will be lost before it really begins.
First baseman Mark Reynolds said it is too early to panic — but that scenario might be close at hand.
“We have plenty of time to snap out of this, but you don’t want to get too far behind,” Reynolds said after Saturday’s loss (via the Denver Post). “Every time I talk to you guys, it’s like, ‘We’ll be fine, we’ll be fine.’ But at some point, you have to hit that panic button.”
Arenado, who is hitting .246 and has yet to homer in 61 ABs this season, said: “We are not doing the little things, and on top off that we are not having good at-bats.”
Davis breaks drought
Chris Davis mercifully ended his MLB record streak of 54 consecutive at-bats without a hit on Saturday with a two-run single off Red Sox starter Rick Porcello in the first inning. With the streak broken, Davis had a great game, going 3 for 5 with four RBIs.
Marlins right fielder Austin Dean went 4 for 4 — including his first home run of the season — and drove in five runs in a 10-3 win over the Phillies.
Astros righty Justin Verlander struck out 11 in six innings, giving up only one run on two hits.
Yankees lefty CC Sabathia looked brilliant in his 2019 debut against the White Sox, giving up only one hit in five scoreless innings in a 4-0 win. The 38-year-old veteran underwent a heart procedure and had arthroscopic knee surgery in the offseason.
Blake Snell allowed only one hit in six scoreless innings, striking out nine, although the Rays went on to lose to the Blue Jays 3-1.
Rodriguez slips up late
Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez gave up back-to-back home runs to Adam Eaton and Howie Kendrick in the bottom of the eighth in the Nationals’ 3-2 victory.
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras had one hit in five plate appearances, struck out three times and stranded six runners in a 6-5 loss to the Angels.
Altuve homers again
The Astros’ Jose Altuve has now homered in five straight, three short of the MLB record, after helping Houston to a 3-1 win at Seattle Mariners.
San Francisco’s Evan Longoria demonstrated the sharpest of reflexes on Yonathan Daza’s third-inning bunt.
Boston Red Sox 5-9 Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees 4-0 Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins 4-3 Detroit Tigers
Chicago Cubs 5-6 Los Angeles Angels
Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Washington Nationals 3-2 Pittsburgh Pirates
San Francisco Giants 5-2 Colorado Rockies
Miami Marlins 10-3 Philadelphia Phillies
Cincinnati Reds 5-2 St Louis Cardinals
Kansas City Royals 3-0 Cleveland Indians
Atlanta Braves 11-7 New York Mets
Arizona Diamondbacks 4-5 San Diego Padres
Seattle Mariners 1-3 Houston Astros
Los Angeles Dodgers 1-4 Milwaukee Brewers
Astros at Mariners
The Mariners are off to the best start in franchise history, and Sunday’s starter, lefty Marco Gonzales, is a big part of that. He’s 4-0 with a 3.16 ERA. The Astros will go with Gerrit Cole, who has pitched well in three starts (3.32 ERA), but is 0-2.