DENVER -- How many hits does it take to win a game? When a team gets double digits in the hit column day after day, they tend to think they've got a good chance at winning, but the Rockies have 39 hits over their last three games and not a win to show for it.
In the course of their eight-game losing streak, Colorado has played four games with 11, 12, 13 and 14 hits, averaging better than six runs a game without being able to convert a solid offensive attack into a notch in the win column.
"The young offensive players we had out there handled themselves extremely well," manager Jim Tracy said of a 12-hit, 13-run effort Friday night. "In the early part of the game we took good at-bats, we had situational at-bats that we took advantage of.
"We had 13 hits Thursday afternoon in San Francisco. That's quite an output from a group of very young players on the field."
At times, the club seems one big hit away from claiming victory, but the big hits have been few and far between this season. With 158 home runs and 10 games to play, the Rockies will likely fall short of their 19-year average of 180 homers a season, but well-rounded hitters like Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, Chris Nelson, and rookies Josh Rutledge, Jordan Pacheco, DJ LeMahieu and Wilin Rosario have provided the hits to win more than their 58 entering Sunday's play.
"We don't have the type of lineup out there that we can just start hammering the ball over the fence," Tracy said. "That's not how we're constructed right now with our youth."
The Rockies have improved their situational hitting, to the point that a 434-foot home run to the right-field concourse by rookie Andrew Brown Saturday night was overshadowed by a productive out he made an inning later to move the runner over.
"He has good power, there's no question about that," Tracy said of Brown's blast. "But that same guy that hit the ball three quarters of the way up in the bleachers also had a man on second, nobody out and gave himself up, grounded out to second base to move the guy over to third."
Unfortunately, like the Rockies of old, the productive bats in the Colorado dugout have not been able to keep up with a porous pitching staff, that is 25-65 with a 5.93 ERA for starters and a 6.08 ERA for the entire staff at Coors Field. In the course of their eight-game losing streak, the Rockies have seen the other side average eight runs a game.
"There has to come a time where seven runs and 14 hits is enough," Tracy said.