The Dodgers came into this weekend’s series with 3 of his best pitchers ready for Dave Roberts to put on the mound at Coors Field.
Game 1 – Walker Buehler with his 0.87 ERA, 42 strikeouts and one walk this month. Struck out 16 Rockies just last week.
- Result: Lit up for 13 hits and 7 runs
Game 2 – Hyun-Jin Ryu and his 1.27 ERA as the league’s most dominant pitcher.
- Result: Couldn’t get out of the 4th inning
Game 3 – Clayton Kershaw and his 3.01 ERA and 7-1 Record.
- Result: Blackmon hit a homer off a weak curve ball on the outside corner.
Much of the reputation Coors Field has gained over the years has been built upon the fact that it wasn’t a pitchers park. With the thin air, the ball would have a harder time breaking, so advantage to the batters. In order to balance out that advantage, the Rockies installed a humidor in 2002 to store game balls, so that the balls wouldn’t have too much bounce off the bats and it helped decrease the amount of scoring at the park until MLB standardized the storage of baseballs in 2018.
Major League Baseball will install climate sensors in each room to measure temperature and humidity throughout the 2018 season. That data will be used to determine whether a humidor is necessary in individual storage rooms for the 2019 season.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are installing a humidor this season. Their room is designed to store baseballs at the MLB recommendations of 70 degrees and 50% humidity. The Colorado Rockies have used a humidor since 2002 for the same reason Arizona is installing one: to combat the effects of storing baseballs in dry conditions. Lack of moisture makes baseballs slicker and gives them a higher coefficient of restitution, or liveliness. – SI
The standardization of storage probably was due to some irregularities from other ball parks that could have used more offense. Think about it, if you can increase humidity to decrease the home runs, why couldn’t you decrease humidity to increase home runs?
Moving along, the effects of this standardization has affected the Rockies in a way that most would have never predicted. (Don’t forget about the juiced balls.) Looks at this year’s ridiculous numbers from ESPN:
- Coors Field has the highest park factor for scoring since 2001 (the year before their humidor was installed)
- Charlie Blackmon is hitting over .500 at home in his last 10 games.
- .468/.518/.984 at home vs. .236/.272/.382 on the road
- Exit Velocity is 5mph faster at home
- Strikes out 50% on the road
- Breaking Balls – Slugging 1.121 at home vs. .471 on the road.
- Fast Balls – Slugging 1.123 at home vs. .296 on the road
- Teams have scored 10 runs or more 20 times in games involving the Rockies. 17 of those games were at Coors Field.
- Rockies Closer, Wade Davis has a 10.66 ERA at Home and 0.79 ERA on the Road.
- Batters are hitting .258 on grounders this year at Coors vs. .211 everywhere else
Bottom line is that in order to win the type of baseball being played at Coors Field, the Dodgers need to just play outstanding defense and just pray that everyone else in the league, including the Rockies, suffer from these offensive anomalies.