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Diamondbacks Game Preview #138: 9/10 @ Rockies

It’s kinda hard to score ten runs in a game and lose. Except at Coors Field...

Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Today's Lineups

Daulton Varsho - RF Randal Grichuk - RF
Alek Thomas - CF Yonathan Daza - CF
Jake McCarthy - LF C.J. Cron - DH
Christian Walker - 1B Brendan Rodgers - 2B
Ketel Marte - DH Michael Toglia - 1B
Emmanuel Rivera - 3B Elias Diaz - C
Wilmer Difo - 2B Elehuris Montero - 3B
Cooper Hummel - C Sean Bouchard - LF
Geraldo Perdomo - SS Alan Trejo - SS
M. Bumgarner - LHP Jose Urena - RHP

In franchise history, the Diamondbacks have a record of 124-3 when scoring ten or more runs on the road. All three of the losses were in Coors Field. On Sep 23, 1998, the team got their first taste of the Denver experience. They jumped out to a 6-2 lead, before the Rockies scored nine unanswered runs, and even a five-run seventh couldn’t prevent a 14-11 loss. Then, on May 30th, 2019, then went down 11-10, though this did at least go into extras. Arizona trailed 7-5 after three frames, but a five-run eighth gave them a 10-8 lead, only for Yoan Lopez to blow it, before Yoshihisa Hirano took the loss in the tenth. Then there was last night, which I trust I need not rehash.

You will not be at all surprised to hear that the Colorado Rockies have more victories where they conceded 10+ runs than any other team. Since the last expansion in 1998, they have 34 such wins, with the next most the Texas Rangers, back on 25. But what’s startling is that a mere three of those Rockies’ victories came on the road: only the Marlins and Mets have fewer such wins away from home. Colorado went almost nineteen years without such a victory (July 1999 in Los Angeles until July 2018 against Arizona). That compares to 31 of them in Coors - easily the most at home (second are again the Rangers with 20). The most Coloradoesque is likely the 18-17 walkoff win over the Marlins in 2008.

It’s questionable whether this apparent setting of the hitting level to “easy” at home helps the Rockies overall, or if it also works as a road-field disadvantage. Because since 1998, they have a .392 road W%, effectively tied (with the Pirates) for worst in the majors. When playing in Coors, they are almost 150 points better, at .540. That’s a respectable 13th best, and for comparison, ranks them thirteen places above the similarly-crappy elsewhere Pirates. The Coors Field effect is real, for the Rockies’ road OPS is .629, the worst in the National League. It’s 182 points below their home OPS, the best in the National League. Maybe the sport just needs to admit there are places where MLB should not exist. #ContractTheRockies