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Scuffling offense has slowed Rockies

Colorado goes 2-for-14 with RISP against Brewers
MLB.com

DENVER -- With the playoff race heating up, now is not a good time for the Rockies' bats to go cold.

Since their Aug. 6 loss to the Phillies, the Rockies have averaged 4.4 runs per game, including their 17-run barrage against the Braves on Wednesday. But remove that contest and the average falls to 3.3 runs per game.

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DENVER -- With the playoff race heating up, now is not a good time for the Rockies' bats to go cold.

Since their Aug. 6 loss to the Phillies, the Rockies have averaged 4.4 runs per game, including their 17-run barrage against the Braves on Wednesday. But remove that contest and the average falls to 3.3 runs per game.

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In Sunday's 8-4 loss to the Brewers, the Rockies again missed multiple chances, going 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Both hits came in the ninth when the game was all but over.

Wild Card standings

"You'd like to think that there'd be some carryover [from the high-scoring games]," manager Bud Black said. "We're getting some guys on base via the walk and the hit but we just can't string them together and get that one big one [hit].

"That's what's been the downfall of the offense, just that when we get the guys out there, we haven't been able to get them in consistently."

These offensive struggles are significantly impacting the standings. On Aug. 9, after beating the Indians, 3-2, in extra innings, the Rockies sat seven games ahead of the Brewers and Cardinals.

The Rockies still hold a one-game lead over the D-backs for the top Wild Card spot, but their cushion against the field has shrunk to just 3 1/2 games.

Carlos Gonzalez, who went 3-for-4 Sunday, said the streaky performances, especially over the past week, depended on the matchups. Between Saturday and Sunday, Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar hit three home runs.

"Sometimes you protect yourselves from the guys who are hitting well and driving in runs," Gonzalez said, "and then you have a guy [in Aguilar] who was not supposed to play and he beats you twice."

Those ninth-inning hits did serve as a confidence boost for the Rockies, as Mark Reynolds and Gonzalez's RBI singles showed the offense still had life.

But, Gonzalez said, it's still important to keep some perspective. The Rockies haven't made the playoffs since 2009 and the players would much rather fight for a postseason spot than playing meaningless games.

"The past, I don't know how many years I've been here, late in the season people are already switching to orange because they want to watch the Broncos," Gonzalez said. "Just playing for something is fun, we're trying to get to the playoffs."

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies