By Zach Cohn
Remember the movie Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior? Well, it is just like the Rockies season so far, with less post apocalyptic psycho biker people and Mel Gibson is thankfully not in the Rockies lineup. (Although William Wallace, another Gibson character, would be a great RBI producer.)
So far this season, the Rockies are indeed Road Warriors, posting a gritty 10-3 mark on the road, the best away record in baseball. Let me repeat that last statement so it does not slip through the cracks: the Rockies currently have the best road record in the league. One month into a season, the Rockies have never been able to say that.
Conversely, they are a mediocre 7 and 6 at home, representing a complete flip-flop of the Rockies reputation of year’s past. To be frank, the Rockies have always been garbage on the road, and hard to beat at home. It is a stigma that has been associated with the Rockies since their inception. This year that is not the case.
The Rockies have played 4 series on the road and won 3. They have played 5 series at home, and won 2, lost 2, and split 1.
A perfect barometer of the Rockies playing better on the road is to examine the two series when Colorado faced Pittsburgh. When Colorado visited Pittsburgh, they took 3 of 4 from the Pirates on their opening weekend. And the one game the Rockies lost went to extra innings. More recently, the Pirates came into Coors Field and emphatically took 2 of 3 from the Rockies. Weird, right?
Just like it is weird that Ublado and Cargo are struggling out of the gates, and the Rockies still had their best April in team history.
So why are the Rockies rolling on the road, and struggling at home? One could dissect and decipher statistics all day to search for a reason. Bottom line – the Rockies are playing better baseball on the road. They are giving up fewer runs, getting more clutch hits, and finding more ways to win.
The Rockies have a seven game win streak under their belt already this season. Six of seven of the victories were on the road. The Rockies were historically ineffective when traveling to New York or to Chicago. They swept the Mets in Citi Field and mini-swept the Cubs at Wrigley. (Last game postponed due to weather even though it was barely raining.)
So as the Rockies kick off a key road trip against two division opponents (the Diamondbacks and the Giants), they should depart with an sense of optimism about hitting the road, because the Rockies are competing at a high level – even at sea level.
You know what they say – road sweet road. Actually I don’t think they say that. I just made that up.