The Colorado Rockies finished a three game series with a 3-1 loss to the New York Yankees. The game ended a six-game home stand in which the Rockies went just 2-4.
In the series, the Rockies scored a total of five runs. The potent offense suddenly was shutdown, and it wasn't by the typical set of Yankees pitchers that have shutdown solid offenses for years. The only dominant Yankee starter that the Rockies faced was CC Sabathia. He hasn't been himself, and he was done after four innings, following a nearly two hour rain delay.
For the Rockies, they have officially hit their first rough stretch of the season. The bats went cold at the same time, and they have squandered excellent pitching performances.
Baseball is an exceptionally mental game. Guys are well known for being superstitious in order to stay hot at the plate, or to keep a winning streak going. These practices play well into the fact that baseball can play with players minds.
It is no secret that in the past two seasons, the Rockies greatest struggle has come in the month of May. In 2011 and 2012, the Rockies have combined to go 18-39 in the month of May. Those months doomed any hope that the Rockies had in either one of those seasons. Even if those teams had no real shot, the month of May ensured that the season wouldn't even be worth watching.
After a tough homestand, one in which the offense sputtered, it wouldn't be shocking to find out that many of the Rockies are wondering if the trend is repeating itself.
The Rockies were largely picked by national writers, local writers, and baseball experts everywhere to be absolutely terrible. Keith Law of ESPN predicted that Colorado would lose 109 games. Of course, in the early going, the Rockies have defied the odds and not only been decent, they have been very good.
As the Rockies head to St Louis, it wouldn't come as a huge surprise if the members of the 25-man roster were questioning if their quick start in April was a fluke. They might be wondering if the experts were actually right about them and that they aren't as good as they have been in the early going.
One thing that has set the Rockies apart in 2013 from the team that lost 98 games a year ago is their ability to bounce back from tough losses. They seem to believe in themselves and they come back the next day almost better than they looked in previous games. The 2012 Rockies sunk deeper and deeper when they lost in heartbreaking fashion.
The Rockies are about to face a huge challenge. They head to St. Louis to play a very good Cardinals team for three games over the weekend. St. Louis is 21-12 and are winners of seven out of their last 10 games. This is a team that will be difficult to beat. The Rockies need to keep winning on the road and believing that they can get the job done away from Coors Field.
The mental challenges that every baseball team has to face throughout the season may have just begun for the Rockies. If they can believe in themselves and find a way to win a few baseball games on this roadtrip, they will be in good shape. If they shrink under the adversity, this May could end up just like the past two.