45 Games Into a Season And Rockies Are Looking For Ways to Get on Track

Sponsored by Sam's No. 3 -- No. 1 in Denver Delights

A season that the Rockies began with the belief they could move past the Dodgers and win the first division title in franchise history has been a challenge in its first 45 games. Instead of battling with the Dodgers at the top, the Rockies find themselves tied with the Giants at the bottom in the NL West.

They are 9 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West. Only once in the five times the Rockies have claimed a wild-card spot have they been farther back in the NL West after 45 games. In 2009 the Rockies were 13 games out of first just 45 games into the season. Where have the Rockies been when they were 45 games into the season?

The rotation was the strength of the team a year ago when it led the NL in innings pitches while the Rockies had the least productive offensive season in franchise history, and the bullpen struggled. This year, the rotation has become the weak point for the Rockies.​

There is a silver lining. Of the five seasons in which the Rockies have advanced to the post-season, the only time the rotation had a higher ERA after 45 games was in 2007.

So where's the sliver lining? Well, 2007 was the year the Rockies went to the World Series for the first -- and so far only -- time. They swept the Phillies in the NLDS and Diamondbacks in the NLCS, but after a nine-day wait for the Red Sox to knock off the Indians in the ALCS, the Rockies were swept in the World Series.

​A Look at the 5 Seasons the Rockies Advanced to Post-Season

A year ago, the Rockies were 25-20, in second place, a half-game back of the D-backs, and seven games up on the Dodgers. The Dodgers got hot, and the 162-game schedule ended with the Rockies and Dodgers tied for the division lead.

The Dodgers knocked off the Rockies in a Game 163, and the Rockies then traveled to Wrigley Field for the wild-card game against the Cubs, and pulled out a 2-1, 13-inning victory.

Working on three days of rest, Kyle Freeland worked 6 2/3 shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk, and striking out four. Charlie Blackmon led off the game with a single and scored on Nolan Arenado's single, and then in the 13th inning, Tony Wolters delivered the game-deciding single. Scott Oberg finished off on the mound, retiring all four batters he faced with strikeouts.

Things didn't go so well in the NL Division Series against the Brewers. The Rockies suffered a 3-2, 10-inning loss at Milwaukee in Game 1 -- Blackmon and Arenado both driving in runs. And things got worse. The Rockies were shut out in the final two games -- 4-0 and 6-0.

In 2017, ​The Wild-Card match-up featured starting pitchers Jon Gray and Zack Greinke, and ended as a slugfest. The D-backs won, 11-8.

Neither starter was in the game by the end of the fourth. Gray gave up four runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 innings, and Greinke was out after 3 2/3 innings, charged with four runs on six hits and a walk.

The Diamondbacks did break out to a 6-0 lead and never trailed, but the Rockies did get back within 8-7 on eighth-inning home runs from Arenado and Trevor Story.​

​The 2009 season saw the Rockies claim the wild-card. They won a regular-season, club-record 92 games, but were in first place for the last time on April 10.

They hooked up with the Phillies in the ALDS for the second time in three years, and the Phillies got revenge, knocking off the Rockies in four games. It was, however, close. The last three games were decided by one run. The Rockies won Game 2 at Citizens Bank Park, 5-4, and the Phillies won Games 3 and 4 at Coors Field by scores of 6-5 and 5-4.

Closer Huston Street suffered back-to-back losses in Games 3 and 4, allowing four runs while retiring five batters.​

In early June of 2007, the Rockies were on the verge of firing manager Clint Hurdle, but before a decision could be made the team was putting together a string of victories.

The Rockies put on an amazing stretch run. The Rockies won 13 of the final 14 games on the regular-season schedule, and then faced off at Coors Field against the a Padres team managed by Bud Black to break the tie for the NL wild-card.

The Rockies rallied from deficits of 5-3, taking the lead at 6-5 in the sixth, and then an 8-6 deficit in the 13th inning Troy Tulowitzki doubled home Kazuo Matsui to pull the Rockies within one, and scored the game-tying run on a Matt Holiday triple.

Then, with one out, Jamey Carroll flied to right, Holliday tagging up and making a head-first slide to score the controversial game-ending run. To this day, the Padres swear Holliday never touched home plate. Home plate umpire Tim McClelland, however, ruled he did, and aside from that, Holliday was never tagged out.

The Rockies then swept the Phillies in three by a combined score of 16-9, pulling out a 2-1 victory in the clinching Game 3 victory, and swept the D-Backs in four games in the NLCS, including a 2-1, 11-inning victory in Game 2, limited Arizona to eight runs combined in the four games.

After waiting eight days for the Red Sox to rally from a 3-games-to-1 deficit in the ALCS against Cleveland, the Rockies never were in sync for their only World Series appearance. The Red Sox made a statement with a 13-1 Game 1 victory and never looked back.

​In only their third year of existence, the Rockies made it into the post-season quicker than any expansion team in history. They held on to claim the NL wild-card only lose to the Braves in four games in the best of seven NL Division Series.

The Braves rallied for a ninth-inning, 5-4 win in Game 1, and came up with a four-run ninth to win Game 2 by a 7-4 score. And after the Rockies pulled out a 7-5, 10-inning victory in Game 3, the raves answered with a series-clinching 10-4 victory in Game 4.