After beginning 2011 with 12 wins in 15 games, it appeared Colorado may be the team to beat the in the NL West. Now, frustrations are boiling over as the Rockies are mired in their longest losing streak of the year.
Colorado will try to end a four-game skid Monday night at Coors Field against the New York Mets, who were swept at home by the Rockies last month.
The Rockies’ season-opening surge included a four-game sweep at Citi Field from April 11-14 - their first of any kind in New York since 1994. Colorado improved to 12-3 after defeating the Chicago Cubs on April 17, but has managed back-to-back wins once since then while losing 11 of 17.
Having dropped three straight in walk-off fashion, manager Jim Tracy didn’t hide his displeasure before Sunday’s series finale with San Francisco.
“I didn’t sign up here to manage this ballclub and come in second,” he said. “If we’re not producing, we will evaluate this club every day because we have other alternatives to explore if things aren’t working out. And we will do that, I guarantee you.”
Colorado (18-14) then lost 3-0, capping a 1-5 road trip, as Chris Iannetta(notes) had two of the Rockies’ three hits. That reduced Colorado’s division lead - at 4 1/2 games entering May - to one game over the defending World Series champions.
“Over the course of a 162-game schedule you’re going to step into a pothole and that’s what we did,” Tracy said. “We’ll find out the mettle of our club, it’s that simple.”
On a team with slumping sluggers Troy Tulowitzki(notes) (1 for 23 on the trip) and Carlos Gonzalez(notes) (.241 this season), the Rockies have been getting surprising production from Iannetta. Colorado’s catcher is 7 for 17 during a five-game hitting streak to increase his batting average to .230, and leads the team with three homers and 10 RBIs at home.
Chacin ended a two-start skid with a strong outing at Arizona on Wednesday. The right-hander lasted seven innings, allowing two runs and three hits in a 6-4 win.
New York, which is 7-8 away from home heading into a six-game trip, saw its three-game winning streak snapped with a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Ronny Paulino(notes) and Jose Reyes(notes) each had two hits and an RBI.
The Mets (15-19) felt they could fared better against the Rockies last month after losing each of the first three games by one run.
“We had the lead about every night (and) couldn’t hold it,” manager Terry Collins told the Mets’ official website. “If we do that this time, with as well as our bullpen is starting to pitch, I think you’ll see some different results.”
The left-hander has surrendered six runs and 18 hits over 12 innings in losses to Washington and San Francisco. Capuano was outdueled by Tim Lincecum(notes) on Wednesday, allowing two runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 2-0 defeat.
Capuano was ripped for a season-high seven runs in 5 2-3 innings of a 9-4 loss to Colorado in the finale of a doubleheader April 14. He is 2-2 with a 3.12 ERA in four career starts in Denver.