Defense turns sloppy for Rockies

Defense turns sloppy for Rockies

DENVER -- Last year, the Rockies set the bar for defensive excellence.

No matter who was on the field, all nine players sparkled with their gloves. The team set the single-season record with a .989 fielding percentage and made just 68 errors.

The defense was championship-caliber, and so were the Rockies after beating Arizona in the National League Championship Series.

The Rockies will be watching the playoffs from their homes this season, and a main reason has been because of a lack of execution at the plate and in the field. Colorado is tied for sixth in the National League with a .984 fielding percentage and has committed 89 errors.

"I think it comes down to the rhythm of the game," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "When you're on a good roll and things are going your way, those things don't happen as often as when you're not."

The defense has been particularly porous during the Rockies' current six-game losing streak. They've committed a total of 10 errors and have made at least one in every game except Wednesday's loss to Atlanta.

The Rockies had gone 334 consecutive games -- the longest active streak in the Majors -- without committing as many as three errors in a game until they did so in their 5-4 loss to the Braves on Tuesday. It happened again on Friday against the Dodgers. Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe booted balls in the outfield, and third baseman Garrett Atkins made a throwing error to second.

"I think part of it is we're trying too hard," Hurdle said. "We're trying to really make things happen that maybe sometimes aren't there. And then for some of the errors it's just a lack of focus. And I'm not saying it's lackadaisical focus, but it's lack of fundamental focus."

Jeff Birnbaum is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.