Two things have become abundantly clear over the past 24 hours.
1. The St. Louis Cardinals starting rotation is rolling right now with Adam Wainwright and Shelby Miller serving as the bookends.
2. The Colorado Rockies are in the midst of one awful, maddening, team wide hitting slump that seems to be getting uglier by the day.
Now, what happens when you put those two ingredients together?
History, of course, as Miller completed a one-hit shutout of Colorado's punchless lineup on Friday night (retiring the last 27 batters he faced in order) and then Wainwright followed it with a two-hit shutout of his own on Saturday (retiring the first 13 Rockies in order) as the Cardinals cruised to a 3-0 win.
When put together, Cardinals pitchers retired 40 consecutive Rockies batters between Eric Young Jr.'s single leading off the game on Friday and Todd Helton's one-out walk in the fifth inning on Saturday. That tied the MLB record for most consecutive batters retired by one team versus the same opponent. That was originally set by the Texas Rangers back in 1996 when they set down 40 straight Detroit Tigers.
It would be another nine batters before Nolan Arenado broke up Wainwright's no-hit bid with one-out in the eighth, meaning Colorado's lineup was mired in a very real and very ugly 0 for 49 stretch and had gone 50 straight plate appearances without a hit.
The Rockies were also one batter away from being one-hit for the second straight game. Dexter Fowler ended that bid with single, but Wainwright kept it at two hits by retiring Carlos Gonzalez to end the game. That put Colorado's two-day hitting total at 3 for 57 (.052).
Hideous numbers to look at, and they get even worse when you go back to Thursday's 3-1 loss to the Yankees. Colorado plated their only run that afternoon in the first inning against C.C. Sabathia, which means their scoreless inning streak now sits at 26. But hey, at least they had four hits in that one. If you go back to Tuesday's game, which the Rockies won 2-0 over New York, their offense is 19 for its last 146 (.130) with six total runs scored in five games.
The Yankees series, by the way, was played at Coors Field, so this isn't a typical Rockies road slump we're witnessing. It's just a nasty, all-encompassing slump, and running into the Cardinals rotation right now is the worst possible remedy.
As they say within the game, good pitching will always beat good hitting. What we're seeing now is what happens when elite pitching squares off against an offense that might struggle hitting off a tee. It's a mismatch of grand proportions, and the Rockies just have to hope Sunday is the day they finally start figuring it out, or at least start putting their few hits together to create a run.
It won't be easy, though. Not against Jaime Garcia, and certainly not against a rested Cardinals bullpen.