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Rockies' offensive struggles not for lack of effort

Rockies' offensive struggles not for lack of effort

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DENVER -- Rockies All-Star Michael Cuddyer has the answer to the Rockies' recent hitting struggles.

"The answer is the season is 162 games and we ran into a little bit of a rut, and people tend to forget to look at who's on the other mound sometimes," Cuddyer said. "Overall, the results haven't been there with runners in scoring position lately, but it doesn't mean we're not trying to get them in. We're not going up there saying, 'Man, I hope I don't get this runner in from second.'

"The intent is there. The thought is there. Unfortunately, sometimes you don't come through."

It's doubtful that's the answer fans are seeking to the Rockies' poor July. The Rockies entered Wednesday night's game against the Marlins last in the Majors in runs and OPS in July, and next to last in batting average and on-base percentage.

There are no major lineup or personnel changes on the horizon. From top to bottom, the Rockies pretty much roll their eyes at the notion that the answer is rooted in emotion or a major change in strategy.

"You've got to make sure guys are taking their best shot, and all that entails -- preparation, pregame work, their awareness over the course of the game, their approach to the at-bats depending on the situation and the scoreboard," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "You want to make sure guys are doing what they can to be successful, and guys are.

"After that, there's not much more you can do. [Hitting coach] Dante [Bichette] has got a good rapport with our guys. They trust him. He's very knowledgeable. He's easy to talk to. He's doing what he can to get guys going and they're doing everything they can to get themselves going. Throwing stuff around does absolutely nothing."

Cuddyer said players need to make adjustments as games progress, but being less aggressive in the batter's box is not the answer.

"You look at all of Major League Baseball now, hitters are more aggressive, and it's because pitchers are more aggressive," Cuddyer said. "You don't see the 125 walks. The league leaders in walks are at 100, then it drops off really quick. If you've got four pitches per plate appearance, you're in the league leaders. For whatever reason, pitchers are attacking the zone more.

"We're not going to give them strikes. If we're swinging at bad pitches, rolling over every single time on every first pitch, swinging at second-pitch sliders in the dirt and rolling over, then that's a problem. We're swinging at strikes. We're not swinging at too many bad pitches."

Weiss said it comes down to confidence in a star-studded lineup.

"These guys are well aware of what they need to do," Weiss said. "If it was easy, anyone would do it. These guys prepare, compete, and the guys have a history of success. That's what gives me confidence they'll get it going."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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