Colorado Rockies Lose Opening Series with Houston Astros: Fan’s Take

The Colorado Rockies lost this weekend's series with the Houston Astros, and it may be a warning to fans that things aren't going to go smoothly for a while. By no means am I already throwing in the towel for the season (that would be a bit overly dramatic). I am, however, trying to remain realistic and patient after these past three games highlighted the weaknesses of this 2012 Rockies team.

Poor Hitting Makes It Difficult To Win

The Rockies certainly struggled hitting for much of 2011, and that was one of the biggest weaknesses for a team that finished well out of the playoff race. 2012 hasn't started any better. In three games against the Astros, the Rockies battled a collective .198 (20-201) and scored just 10 runs in those games. To make it even worse, four of those runs in the opening game were unearned (when the Astros committed four key errors).

The heart of the lineup is struggling as bad as the rest of the team. Carlos Gonzalez has gone 3-13, Troy Tulowitzki was 2-10, and Todd Helton has hit 1-8. Thankfully, new outfielder Michael Cuddyer is batting a scintillating .417 (5-12) and providing a rare bright spot at the plate.

Starting Pitching Is Not The Problem

I felt as if all three starting pitchers this weekend did what they were supposed to do. Josh Guthrie made it seven innings and allowed just three earned runs. Jamie Moyer made it five innings and gave up three earned runs. Juan Nicasio outdid them both, allowing just one earned run in seven innings. Middle relievers were a bit shaky at times, and they weren't helped by some key errors in the field. However, considering how many questions the starting rotation had going into this season season, the Rockies seem to be in decent shape in that department right now.

Positive Things About Opening Weekend

Michael Cuddyer may be the best free agent pickup for the Rockies in the past few years. Not only has he been the best hitter so far, but his hustle in the field and on the base paths are great examples to the many young players on the team.

Juan Nicasio, recovering from a vicious hit last year that resulted in a fractured cervical bone, clearly has fully recovered. His seven innings on Sunday were fantastic, and it's not going to be a surprise if he moves into the No. 2 spot in the starting rotation soon.

I'm still very excited about this season. With all the new players and pitchers, this is a very different team and it's going to take a while for the lineup to come together. The Rockies are coming home to Denver on Monday for an extended home stand, and I expect that the hitting will begin to pick up in front of a sold-out stadium filled with Rockies fans.

Julie has followed baseball her entire life. Since moving to Denver in 2001 she has become a stout Colorado Rockies fan. Her favorite player has been Troy Tulowitzki, but she might switch loyalties to Michael Cuddyer if he keeps hustling and playing harder than everyone else.

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Updated Sunday, Apr 8, 2012