|Rockies hard-pressed to explain their hitting woes|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 26 October 2007 13:55|
His troublesome quadriceps is OK. No, something else is to blame for the leadoff man's 0-for-7 slump in the World Series.
Yet even Taveras can't say for sure what the problem is.
``I'm putting a good swing on the ball. It's just a little bit wrong,'' Taveras said Friday.
That explanation could apply to all of the Colorado Rockies hitters not named Matt Holliday.
``We're not too far off,'' outfielder Ryan Spilborghs said. ``We're a good hitting team.''
Not lately, though.
The Rockies led the NL with a .280 batting average, but have managed just two runs in losing the first two games to Boston. Colorado is hitting .180 as a team heading into Game 3 on Saturday night at Coors Field.
Perhaps a change is in order?
``I'm thinking through some things,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ``Anytime we get challenged offensively, you always need to rethink things and look at your options.''
The Rockies could possibly move Kaz Matsui up a spot to lead off and slide shortstop Troy Tulowitzki into the No. 2 slot. That's what the team did when Taveras missed time at the end of the season with his quadriceps injury.
But Taveras doesn't think a lineup change is necessary. He thinks the Rockies should keep the lineup the same. He likes the speed he and Matsui bring to the top of the lineup.
``This has worked before,'' said Taveras, who's hitting .120 in the postseason. ``This can work. We have a lot of guys who can hit.''
Hard to tell since their eight-day layoff leading into the Series. The Rockies have struck out 22 times in the first two games of the series.
The Rockies simply couldn't replicate Red Sox aces Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling through simulated games.
``There's only so much you can do,'' Rockies hitting coach Alan Cockrell said of the time off. ``There's nothing like going out and playing. But we're very close. Very, very close to getting our timing and rhythm back.''
Spilborghs said he thinks the team just needs a hit off the end of the bat that falls in, or a broken-bat single, or anything else to break loose.
``We don't need it to pad our egos, just to get something going,'' said Spilborghs, who struck out three times looking in Game 2. ``Just something.''
Said Garrett Atkins: ``We're one good inning away from getting our confidence back offensively. We're going to need a big inning to get back in this series.''
The Rockies aren't accustomed to a losing streak. They had won 21 of 22 coming into the World Series. The team hadn't lost consecutive road games since Aug. 27-28 at San Francisco.
``It's a little shocking,'' Tulowitzki said. ``You don't now how to react now. We became used to winning and used to shaking hands, coming into the clubhouse and playing music and celebrating after wins. To come in and have it dead quiet? It's like, 'Hey, what's going on here?' It's definitely different.''
Yet he doesn't have any easy solutions for the team's hitting woes.
``If I did, I'd let these guys know what the trick was. Hopefully, we can get our bats going and make it a series here,'' he said.
Matsui had a simplistic explanation for Colorado's recent struggles.
``Sometimes, we can hit,'' he said through a translator. ``Sometimes, we can't. No team hits all the time.''
At this point, the Rockies would settle for some of the time.