Congratulations to the Colorado Rockies.
Last night's excessively exasperating 7-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers assured the Rockies of baseball's worst record in May. For the month, they sit at 8-20.
Take that, Minnesota Twins, with your slightly less horrific 8-18 record. I bet your fans use a glass when they drink themselves to sleep after losses. Rockies fans just grab the bottle of booze, tilt their heads back and chug until they forget what baseball is.
In the latest catastrophe, the Rockies did the seemingly impossible -- turning fourteen hits into one measly run by going 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and stranding thirteen runners on base. They managed this trick in part by grounding into three double plays -- one by Troy Tulowitzki with the bases loaded. And Carlos Gonzalez was thrown out at the plate.
If not for tonight's game, this loss would have been a fitting end to a month in which Colorado's four-and-a-half-game lead in the National League West turned into a third-place slot five-and-a-half games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, of all teams.
Did I mention Jorge De La Rosa went down with an elbow injury last week and is done for a year due to impending Tommy John surgery? Do I need to point out that supposed ace Ubaldo Jimenez has yet to notch a win and owns an ERA just south of six? And let's not get too deep into the shockingly average duo of Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, neither of whom is sniffing a .300 batting average.
The Rockies looked like they were hitting a turning point two weeks ago when Gonzalez notched go-ahead, game-winning hits in consecutive games against the San Francisco Giants. Colorado then split two games in Philadelphia against the Phillies and Jason Giambi hopped in the DeLorean and smashed three home runs in one game.
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But winning three out of four against two of the league's best teams meant little after the Rockies notched W's in just two games out of the next eleven. Big hits and stolen bases have been elusive and the bullpen has shown cracks, as exemplified by back-to-back walk-off losses to the Brewers. But stars not playing like stars is the biggest problem.
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Whether it's the weight of expectations, the rest of the league adjusting or just a bad stretch, Jimenez, Tulowitzki and Gonzalez simply aren't earning their paychecks.
Based on a one-game sample, rookie Juan Nicasio, who surrendered no earned runs Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals, looks capable of filling a portion of De La Rosa's shoes -- and at some point the law of averages says the Rockies will start hitting, especially at home. But it will be largely irrelevant if those three leaders keep playing like confused rookies.
More from our Baseball archive: "The Colorado Rockies aren't worried about offense, but they should be."