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Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies during a review late in the game as the Colorado Rockies lose 7-1 to the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field April 9, 2019, Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Joe Amon/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Gomez: Rockies in danger of digging too deep a hole in NL West

Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies during a review late in the game as the Colorado Rockies lose 7-1 to the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field April 9, 2019, Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Joe Amon/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The adage goes: “You can’t win the pennant in April, but you can lose it.” And those the Colorado Rockies are just shy of two weeks into the 2019 season, the club appears to be digging a dangerously deep hole in the National League West.

ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, who joined “Schlereth and Evans” on Tuesday ahead of the Rockies fifth loss later in the evening, invoked the saying when it comes to the team’s early slump.

“Here’s the dangerous part with all of this. You cannot win a division title in April, but you can absolutely lose it in April,” Gomez said. “If you dig too deep of a hole, it’s just almost impossible to climb out of.”

And with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who swept Colorado in its first home series of the season last weekend, “clicking” right now, the Rockies may be in real peril of letting a potentially promising season slip away.

“When I say you can’t win a division in April it’s because, look, you can go 18-10 in the month of April and you’re in first place and you’re doing great. The problem is if you’re 5-23, you’ve dug too deep of a hole,” Gomez said. “You’ve got to keep digging the entire first three or four months, and by then you just run out of time and gas.”

Among the issues Gomez pointed to was the performance of Rockies ace Kyle Freeland, who sits 1-2 on the season with a 5.40 ERA in his three starts.

“I mean, the pitching has not been good. And that’s been kind of surprising because they pitched so well the last two seasons, especially coming out of the gates,” Gomez said. “And right now, their ace is Kyle Freeland, and he’s just not getting it done.”

With Freeland struggling, Gomez said it appears to have had a “trickle-down effect” on the rest of the Rockies starting rotation.

“When your ace stumbles, it just creates a ripple effect. And right now, it’s not happening,” Gomez said.

On the offensive side of things, Gomez said that while Colorado has been getting better production from its lineup, runs are coming when the game already appears out of hand.

“The problem is when you’re down 6-0 or 8-1, whatever, it’s easier to hit because you know you’re out of the game and you relax and you’re more comfortable,” Gomez said. “When a game is early and it’s still tight and you’re not doing anything, that’s where there are issues.

“They’re tight. They’re not producing, obviously, when they need to. They’re producing when they don’t need to, when the game is out of reach.”

Follow digital content producer Johnny Hart on Twitter: @JohnnyHart7.

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