Rockies hit stumbling block but still control fate
Club not in panic mode, will let loose on way to San Diego
By Jonathan Hawthorne
SAN FRANCISCO -- With 10 games remaining on Colorado's regular-season schedule, the Rockies still control their postseason fate. That much is for certain.
Colorado touched down in San Francisco eyeing two wins against one of the worst statistical teams in the Majors. Instead, the Rockies dropped both games, the latest edition a 4-0 loss Wednesday.Colorado is a game ahead of the Brewers for the second National League Wild Card spot, after the Pirates walked off against Milwaukee on Wednesday.
Though they've lost three straight, the Rockies insist they're not in panic mode. They open a four-game set with San Diego on Thursday and host the Marlins and Dodgers to cap the season.
"I think guys want to get hits," manager Bud Black said of his offense. "There's no doubt about that. Whether they're pressing? I don't think so. I really don't. Again, we have to go back -- at the plate and the mound -- we have to do some things fundamentally correct to get it done. Yesterday and today, not happening."
But catcher Jonathan Lucroy indicated he's detected some changes in the Rockies' overall approach -- especially with younger players. Lucroy said Colorado's rookies will wear Denver Broncos jerseys and pads for the team's flight to San Diego. The veterans will don regular Broncos shirts, part of the tradition on the final road trip of 2017.
He hopes the Rockies rediscover themselves.
"We're going to take a step back and have some fun today on the flight home with our football team," Lucroy said. "Hopefully loosen some guys up and try and get back after these Padres. All we can control is our effort and our work. Everything else is kind of up to baseball.
"It's one of those things. We didn't have any breaks. We didn't hit the ball well. And didn't pitch well. But we have to find a way to get the job done. If we can loosen up, and have some fun and relax, we can beat anybody. I know we can."
Lucroy was a bright spot in Wednesday's loss, tallying three hits, but the Rockies were shut out for the ninth time this season. A veteran himself, Lucroy knows a few consecutive wins can reignite Colorado's engine once again.
He insists it's in the cards.
"This is the most talented lineup I've ever been a part of," Lucroy said. "This lineup's too good to be held down. It was going to come down to the wire anyway. We knew that. None of the teams behind us -- or even with us now -- are going to roll over. They're not going to let us run all over them. We're not going to stop trying. We have to worry about ourselves and what we can do."
Added Black: "Are we enjoying this that we got beat? No. But we like the fact of where we are and what the games mean. It's good stuff."
Jonathan Hawthorne is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.