The Colorado Rockies have slid further and further from playoff contention since the beginning of the season, and now the club has been officially eliminated from the MLB playoffs with a 2-0 loss Tuesday night against the Mets in New York.
The loss dropped Colorado to 59-86 on the season. The Pirates entered Tuesday in the second Wild Card position at 75-68, but with games against close pursuers Atlanta (74-70 entering Tuesday) and Milwaukee (74-70), the second Wild Card winner is guaranteed to have at least 77 wins, which is more than the Rockies if they won out.
The season actually started on a positive note for the Rockies, with Troy Tulowitzki threatening Mike Trout for the title of "best player in baseball" and the club sitting a game above the division-favorite Dodgers six weeks into the campaign. Propelled by Tulowitzki and the hot hitting of Charlie Blackmon, the Rockies boasted one of MLB's better offenses and the NL West's best run differential on May 15.
Things turned sour in a hurry, though. Blackmon came back down to earth, Carlos Gonzalez missed nearly all of June and was shelved for the rest of the season in early August, and the team's rotation never came together as hoped. As has become an annual occurrence, Tulowitzki couldn't finish the season without getting hurt, and he hasn't played since the middle of July.
Last season's breakout performer, Jhoulys Chacin, began the year on the DL and had to be shut down in July. He made just 11 starts. Offseason acquisition Brett Anderson pitched well, but a myriad of injuries held him to just eight outings before back surgery ended his year in August. Jorge De La Rosa, the club's best starter, has a 4.27 ERA and 4.39 FIP, while the likes of Franklin Morales, Jordan Lyles and Juan Nicasio haven't contributed much either. A total of 16 different pitchers made a start for the Rockies in 2014.
Colorado's campaign hasn't been completely devoid of bright spots. Nolan Arenado looks to be a player to build around at third base, and Corey Dickerson is hitting .310/.365/.569 over 430 plate appearances in the outfield. Tyler Matzek, too, made a strong case to be part of the club's starting rotation in 2015.
Even still, the Rockies remain in limbo with some high-priced stars who are hurt all too often and little pitching depth. And that reality shows little sign of changing in the near future.