KANSAS CITY -- General manager Jeff Bridich emphasized that the Rockies must maintain their belief in themselves despite struggles that have tightened the National League Wild Card race. Closer Greg Holland suffered his third blown save in his last six games Wednesday in a 6-4 loss to the Royals and,
KANSAS CITY -- General manager Jeff Bridich emphasized that the Rockies must maintain their belief in themselves despite struggles that have tightened the National League Wild Card race. Closer Greg Holland suffered his third blown save in his last six games Wednesday in a 6-4 loss to the Royals and, although the Rockies hold the second National League Wild Card spot, they've lost 11 of their last 15 games.
During that stretch, a potent offense has scored three or fewer runs 10 times.
"I hope we've, by now, proven to ourselves that we're good," Bridich said. "We know our abilities. We believe in the group to go out and win games. But needless to say, the last three weeks of baseball, we just haven't put all things together at once and strung things together.
"It's been a rough go. We haven't gotten some key hits or executed some key situations offensively lately to allow us to push across a go-ahead run or add to a lead. And Greg Holland isn't going to be perfect all year long; there is going to be some inevitable struggle. He's going to rebound."
If the Rockies acquire players, they'll have to be in the organization as of Aug. 31 to be eligible for the postseason roster. However, Bridich said, "The clock's ticking there. The more likely scenario is that we add to us by getting [infielder-outfielder] Ian Desmond healthy and getting [left-handed pitcher] Tyler Anderson healthy, and calling upon some of our guys [from the Minors]."
However, one possible key addition might not be part of the late push. Veteran and former NL MVP Ryan Howard, a first baseman who signed with the Rockies earlier this month in hopes of contributing, suffered a knee injury. Bridich said the severity "is still being determined."
Bridich said a positive development has been the work of the starting pitchers. Even during this downturn in the overall record, a starting staff that has used four rookies (German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela and Jeff Hoffman), a second-year pitcher (Jon Gray) and a pitcher coming off a long battle with testicular cancer (Chad Bettis) has been competitive.
In the past 15 games, Rockies starters have a 3.86 ERA with 66 strikeouts against 28 walks. They could improve in terms of length -- just four starts have been beyond six innings -- but they have given the team a chance.
"That was part of the hope for these guys, part of the design," Bridich said. "You're not ever quite sure how it's going to go, fully, when you put a group together. But you hope these starters jell, feed off each other, help each other grow and compete against each other in that good way that teammates do.
"They're, hopefully, raising expectations, both for now and for the future. As we add certain guys, whether through promotion or through trade or however it goes in the future, hopefully this group is setting a good standard."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.