DENVER -- Tuesday's offensive performance was a rare bright spot, but Justin Verlander halted any chance for momentum in the Rockies' 6-2 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday at Coors Field.As the Rockies begin September with an important series against the D-backs, they end their worst month of the season
DENVER -- Tuesday's offensive performance was a rare bright spot, but Justin Verlander halted any chance for momentum in the Rockies' 6-2 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday at Coors Field.
As the Rockies begin September with an important series against the D-backs, they end their worst month of the season -- a 12-15 record in August. Since sitting a season-high 21 games over .500 after June 20, the Rockies are 25-35, which is the worst record in the National League West during that span.
Rebounding after facing Verlander and diving into an important series will be challenging, but the Rockies feel up to the task.
"[Verlander] was good today. When you face a guy like that you know what he brings to the table," outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "[Now] we're going to play a good team that we could possibly play in the [National League] Wild Card Game. It's important for us to bring our best game.
"It's a big series, big weekend too. There's gonna be a lot of crowds so that's gonna be helpful too."
The lackluster offense the Rockies bring into their series against the D-backs spans almost the entire month of August. Over their last 22 games, the Rockies scored three runs or fewer 15 times and went 4-11 in such contests.
Not only are the Rockies trying to catch the D-backs, but also need to stave off the Brewers for the second NL Wild Card spot. The Brewers have been hot lately and won Wednesday when outfielder Keon Broxton robbed a potential go-ahead home run in the ninth.
"You don't want to be the No. 2 Wild Card, you want to be the No. 1," Gonzalez said. "That's everybody's goal, if you want to end up winning the Wild Card, you want to win in first. This is a great opportunity to gain ground and to put those guys behind us."
The off day will help serve as a reset, manager Bud Black said, and the Rockies know what they're up against. Before Wednesday's loss, Black said starter Kyle Freeland is amped up to start a game like Friday's, as Freeland hails from Denver and grew up a Rockies fan.
Some of the veteran presences will help the team navigate not just the D-backs series, but September as a whole, Black said.
"[Jonathan] Lucroy has [been in the postseason], Ian [Desmond] has, [Mark] Reynolds has, that helps a little bit of the dialogue in the clubhouse," Black said before Wednesday's game. "I do think as a team we haven't hit well with runners in scoring position this month and that can turn, as we were one of the better teams earlier in the year."
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.