At the break…1st half recap
Well here we are at the all-star break! Ok we’re not really in San Francisco, my budget wouldn’t allow for it this year. What I mean to say is that we are at the mid-point of the season. The Rox are sitting at an even 44-44 and currently 5 1/2 games back of the NL West leading San Diego Padres and 2 games back of 3rd place Arizona. Matt Holliday has been selected to fill in for the injured Miguel Cabrera in the Home Run Derby tonight. Brian Fuentes is injured and will not be participating in the all-star game tomorrow night. I want to take a look at the first 3 months of the season and see how things have shaped up thus far.
After losing their home opener to the D-Backs 6-8, the Rox went on through April to finish 10-16. Seventy five percent of those 16 losses came from with the division. Not nearly what was expected to happen coming out of spring training by the fans, front office or the players themselves.
May turned out to be a bit a better month for the Rox. They finished the month 15-13, still 4 games under .500 at 25-29. May 22nd was the turning point, the Rockies went on to win the next 2 series over Arizona and a sweep of the Giants, and then on to split 4 games with the Cards at Coors Field. May also saw Hawpe and Atkins break out of their hitting slumps.
June was another good month until the 22nd and that horrible road trip where they went 1-9. the beginning of the month saw the Rockies winning the next 6 series in a row which included 2 of 3 from the Red Sox at Fenway and a 3 game sweep of the Yankees at home. They finished June 14-13 and 39-42 overall.
July started off with a 12-0 massacre in Houston. Then in which the Rox came home to sweep another the Mets and were the first team to sweep two New York teams in the same season in 51 years. Then taking 2 of 3 from the Phillies, bringing us to the midway point in the season.
My synopsis of the season so far… Currently we have 5 players in our everyday lineup batting over .300, 6 if you count Spilborghs, but with only 88 at bats. Sullivan has only 28 at bats in his recent call up and is currently batting .429. Pitching has been decent so far this year, a few flashes of brillance, but otherwise good enough to keep the Rox in most games this season. the bats have been the reason this team can play with anybody in the league. Holliday has been in the top 1 or 2 all season in most batting categories. Holliday leads the team in batting (.341,15,69).
My first half season awards would be as follows.
“Biggest Surprise of the Season so far” – tie between Willy Taveras and Rodrigo Lopez. Taveras is better than advertised by the Astros and has does nothing but get on base time after time, His bunt hits and speed on the bases and in centerfield make him a pure and valued asset. Jason who? Rodrigo Lopez came into the season over from the Orioles during the off season winning his first 4 games and is currently 5-2, 4.83. “Most Improved” – Jeff Francis. He started off the season in not so fine fashion during April and early May and has rebounded, now leading the pitching staff in wins (8) and ERA (3.87). “Biggest Disappointed of the Season so far” – Chris Ianetta. He’s good behind the plate and at calling a game, but his biggest blunder was the throwing error in Toronto that cost the Rockies the game and his hitting. He’s been hovering around the Mendoza line all season, currently batting .198. This award could’ve gone to LaTroy Hawkins and in some respects probably should, but the Rockies front office is high on Ianetta with his jersey on display in the club level lobby and all. My next award I will call “The Best Thing to Happen to the SS Position Since Clint Barmes” – Troy Tulowitzki, so as long as he doesnt trip up a flight of stairs carrying any venison. We are looking at a very gifted athlete at shortstop. The buzz hasnt really begun yet, there are some rumblings though, but as the second half of the season goes on, his name will be mentioned more as a top candidate for NL Rookie of the Year.
Overall Rockies fans should be mostly satisfied with where the team is right now, because it could’ve been alot worse than 44-44. Let’s just hope they can keep it up in the second half.