Rockies bats awakening in May
Offense beginning to pick up pace after struggling in April
SAN DIEGO -- Offense and the Rockies have shared a symbiotic relationship since the franchise's inception, but the start of the 2008 season has been a bit slow out of the box.
The club posted a .248 team batting average in the month of April and is currently seventh in the National League with a .261 mark entering Saturday night's game with the Padres. But they've picked up the pace in May and that is surprising few within the organization.
"When you have a history of doing things, when you're not doing 'em, eventually you're going to do 'em," manager Clint Hurdle said. "I believe in that. I'm also a believer in missed opportunities being just that. There is nothing you can do about it when it's gone, but when it comes up again, you have to cash in and we've started to do that."
The club led the NL with a .280 batting average last season and was second in runs scored with 860. This month more closely reflects that capacity with a .310 batting average that is second in the league in May and 47 runs that tie them with the Phillies for an NL high.
Hurdle said his team has regained its patience at the plate.
"Our at-bats are getting better; our discipline is getting better," Hurdle said. "We're hitting the ball where it's pitched, harder, and we're taking what is given to us -- kind of counter-punching when guys are on and not trying to dictate direction. That is one thing you should never try and dictate as a hitter is direction. The pitcher will establish direction if you're a good hitter. If he throws it away, you'll hit it away."
Matt Holliday, Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe and Clint Barmes have been swinging the bats well, but have all picked it up considerably and are hitting nearly 100 points higher in May.
Holliday hit .303 in April but entered Saturday with .400 average in May and a 1.219 OPS. Atkins hit .319 in April and is hitting .414 in May. Hawpe .239/.333 and Barmes .292/.409 have posted similar gains.
Mike Scarr is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.