Statistics illustrate how far the Rockies have fallen since 2018

In 2018, the Rockies almost won their first National League West title.

A 5-2 loss to the Dodgers in Game 163 foiled their quest, but the Rockies still won a franchise-high 91 games and then went into Wrigley Field and beat the Cubs in the wild-card playoff game.

The future looked rosy.

Four years later, a purple haze hangs over the Rockies. With a 65-90 record entering Thursday night’s game at San Francisco, they are one of the worst teams in the majors. Only Kansas City (24-51) had a worse road record than the Rockies (24-50).

Statistics for Colorado’s offense and its starting pitching illustrate the Grand Canyon-sized chasm between 2018 and ’22, reveal just how far the current Rockies have slid, and show just how big a mountain they have to climb to become a contender.


— The 2018 team went 47-34 at Coors Field and 44-38 on the road, marking just the third time in franchise history that the Rockies had a winning road record (41-40 in 2009, 41-40 in 2017).

— The 2018 team hit 210 total home runs, while the 2022 club had launched 141 with seven games left in the season. In 2018, the Rockies hit 91 homers away from Coors Field, compared to a miserly 43 so far this season. The franchise low for road homers is 49 by the 2000 team.

For manager Bud Black, the explanation for the Rockies’ road failures is obvious.

“In 2018, we had a veteran-laden position-player group; guys in their prime,” he said recently. “That was more of a veteran team that physically and mentally was able to do on the road what needs to be done on the road.

“Because of the talent and the veteran makeup of that team, we were able to win. Now things have shifted to a younger group of players, which is the natural course of most teams in baseball.”

The 2018 offense had three legitimate All-Star sluggers in Nolan Arenado (38 homers), Trevor Story (37) and Charlie Blackmon (29). Throw in Ian Desmond (22), Carlos Gonzalez (16), David Dahl (16), and DJ LeMahieu, and the Rockies had a potent lineup. Of that group, only Blackmon, at age 36, remains in Colorado.

First baseman C.J. Cron, who’s blasted 29 homers, is the current Rockies’ most consistent home run hitter. Ryan McMahon (19), Randal Grichuk (17), Blackmon (16), and Brendan Rodgers (11) have double-digit homers but the Rockies’ lineup doesn’t scare anybody.

Left fielder Kris Bryant was signed to fix the problem but injuries limited him to five home runs (all on the road) in 42 games. Bryant, with a career-low 2.8 home run percentage, was on pace to hit 19 homers.

Four years ago, Colorado’s starting pitching was very good, at least by the standards of baseball at 5,280 feet. This season it’s been shockingly bad:

— The 2018 rotation owned a 4.17 ERA, trailing only the 2010 team (4.10) for the best in franchise history. This season’s team has a 5.08 ERA.

— Four years ago, lefty Kyle Freeland finished fourth in voting for the National League Cy Young Award. He went 17-7 and his 2.85 ERA was the lowest by a starter for a full season in franchise history, as well as the fourth-lowest in the NL in 2018. This season, Freeland has been Colorado’s best starter, but his 9-11 record and 4.63 ERA pales in comparison to what he did four years ago.

— Right-hander German Marquez was just 23 years old in 2018 but he flashed tremendous potential, going 14-11 with a 3.77 ERA. Four years later, and one year removed from his first All-Star Game appearance, Marquez has struggled mightily, going 8-13 with a 5.12 ERA. He’s served up a career-high 30 home runs and his 2-6 record and 6.70 ERA at Coors Field is a red flag.

The Rockies desperately need Marquez and Freeland to rebound next season because the rotation lacks depth and experience. Marquez is due $15 million next season and the Rockies hold his $16 million option in 2024. Freeland, who signed a five-year, $64.5 million contract in April, will make $10.5 million next season.

The rest of the Rockies’ rotation in 2018 didn’t put up great numbers: Tyler Anderson (7-9, 4.55 ERA), Jon Gray (12-9, 5.12), Chad Bettis (5-2, 5.01) and Antonio Senzatela (6-6, 4.38). But they made some gutsy starts throughout the season, and anchored by Freeland and Marquez, starting pitching was a team strength four years ago. Now it looms as a gigantic question mark.

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