This isn’t just to reference the monsoon of rain (3 inches) we received here in the Denver metro area Thursday during the evening rush hour commute, but to also reference the current state of the Rockies in 2011. First it was the sprinkling of injuries within the last week. Carlos Gonzalez injures his wrist, then Troy Tulowitzki with the quad, neither of who has played in the series against the Braves. Then yesterday recent call-up and quick fan favorite outfielder Charlie Blackmon goes down with a broken left foot. Did I mention the injured pride of Aaron Cook, who can’t seem to find the strike zone or a win with a Garmin GPS device.
Then there is the downpour of recent losses, currently sitting at 5 straight losses and 7 of their last 9 games. Dont be surprised if the Nationals dont sweep the Rockies as well. The Rockies are currently 8.5 games behind the NL West division leading Giants and 6.5 back of the 2nd place D’backs.
Let’s face it, though I hate to say it, the Rockies are done. Now that is the realist in me of course, but there is the hopelessly optimistic side of me, that thinks, believes and at times just knows in my gut that the Rockies can turn this thing around. But I am sick and tired of this team always wanting to be the miracle comeback team, like they were in 2007. You can’t always win games playing from behind, let alone win a divsion and that’s what I feel this team likes to maybe perceive itself as, the “eternal underdog”. “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” Last I checked Underdog was a fictional cartoon but the Rockies are certainly playing that way as of late. As if because nobody in baseball is focusing on them in the media, that they can suddenly spring a surprise on teams and suddenly have teams take notice. Wanna make teams take notice, then start winning ballgames, start playing smart baseball, start with a “take no prisoners” attitude and beat the teams, you’re supposed to beat and better yet kick the ass of teams who are perceived to be the bigger badder teams of major league baseball. It begins with believing that you are and can be the team that you want to be and playing hard each and every game of a 162 game season. No more feeling sorry, or feeling like the underdogs. If you want to win the division, then dammit Rockies you have to go out and take it! No one is going to just give you the division, certainly not the Giants! Stop believing that the getting the NL Wildcard is “good enough”, because as a fan and someone who believes in the talent on this team, it’s not good enough. I’m stepping down off my pedestal now.
It’s all yours Rockies Nation, what’s your take?
Well on paper, it doesnt look good for the Rockies going into this series. The Rockies are 23-49 on the road against the Braves, 18-31 at Turner Field. The Rockies last had a winning record against the Braves at Turner Field in 2005 with a 2-1 record. The one win last season was Ubaldo Jimenez’ no hitter, the first in Rockies history.
The Braves come into this series winning 7 of their last 10 games, 4 games back of division leading Phillies. While the Rockies went 4-6 in their last 10 games, 6.5 games back of the Giants and 3 back of the D’backs and also sporting a 19-21 road record.
THE HOT LIST – Mark Ellis(2B/Rockies) – 8 for 15 with 2 homeruns and 7 RBIs in his first 3 games with the Rockies since the trade from Oakland. Todd Helton(1B/Rockies) – 10 for 20 in last 5 games with 4 walks and 4 RBIs. Carlos Gonzalez(OF/Rockies) – 11 for 24 in his last 6 games. 6 RBIs in yesterday’s game against the Royals. Brian McCann(C/Braves) – team leading .314 batting average and 10 for 21 in last 5 games.
THE NOT LIST – Charlie Blackmon(OF/Rockies) – 6 for 34(.176) in his last 10 games. Could be the player to watch in the series as he returns home to Georgia, if he doesnt press. Blackmon’s hometown is Suwanee, Ga and he played college ball at Georgia Tech. Chris Iannetta(C/Rockies) – Remains on our NOT list with a .227 average. 6 for 30 in last 10 games, but did go 3 for 3 against the Royals on 7/2. Jason Heyward(OF/Braves) – 6 for 25 last 6 games, with 1 homerun and 2 RBIs. Dan Uggla(2B/Braves) – .175 battting average through 85 games.
Tonight’s probables are Ubaldo Jimenez(3-7, 4.35) against Tommy Hanson(9-4, 2.62).
After losing the last two series, against the Yankees on the road and the White Sox at Coors Field, the Rockies with last night’s 9-6 win over the Royals assured themselves of winning the 3 game series. The Rockies jumped out to a huge 7-0 lead after just two innings. The top of the lineup, Gonzalez, Ellis, Helton, Tulowitzki, and Smith went 11 for 21 with 7 RBIs. Newest Rockies Mark Ellis continues his hot hitting with a 3 for 5 night. Chris Iannetta himself had a perfect night going 3 for 3 with an RBI. The only position player starting the game for the Rockies without a hit was outfielder Charlie Blackmon(0 for 3). Ryan Spilborghs went 0 for 1 in a pinch hitting role.
Huston Street recorded his 24th save of the season, tying him for first in the league with 4 others.
Rockies starter Greg Reynolds got his 3rd win of the season(3-0) with a 5 inning effort giving up 8 hits and 5 RBIs. The Rox will (dare I say it) go for the sweep this afternoon with Jason Hammel(4-7, 4.02) against Colorado native Luke Hochevar(5-8, 4.96) for the Royals. Not exactly a dream matchup on the mound, but with the records of both starting pitchers, this could be an interesting game. Can the Rockies offensive onslaught continue? The Rockies have scored 18 runs in the first 2 games of the series.
The pitching staff got a huge lift Friday night as the Rockies offense went ballistic on the Detroit Tigers. Jason Hammel was already nursing a 9-1 lead after the third inning. Chris Nelson had the biggest hit of the night and of his major league career so far, with a 3 run homerun in the 2nd inning, part of a 6 run inning for the Rockies. Charlie Blackmon had a perfect night at the plate, going 4 for 4with 2 RBIs. Carlos Gonzalez led the team with 4 RBIs on the night after going 2 for 4. Jason Hammel recorded his 4th win on the season after giving up 6 runs on 8 hits through 6.1 innings. Four of Hammel’s 6 runs given up were off of a grand slam by Jhonny Peralta in the 6th inning for the Tigers.
The Rockies held the Tigers to 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position, despite allowing 12 hits. The win last night was the Rockies third in a row and has them 4.5 games behind the division leading Giants.
Former Rockies manager Jim Leyland and the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers invade Coors Field this weekend for a 3 game interleague series. The Rockies have a bit of momentum on a 2 game win streak and a 2 games to 1 series win over the San Diego Padres. On the other side, the Tigers are a game ahead of the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central, thanks to the Indians recent 3-7 slide in their last 10 games, while the Tigers went 6-4.
The Rockies come into this series with an 11-7 record against the Tigers overall, 7-2 at Coors Field. The Tigers last appearance in Denver was in 2005.
HOT LIST – Miguel Cabrera(1B/Tigers) 4 for 9 with 2 RBIs and 2 walks in his last 3 games. Brennan Boesch(LF/Tigers) 5 for 11 in last 3 games, with a home run and 2 RBIs. Charlie Blackmon(OF/Rockies) 7 for 12 in his last 3 games, including 3 RBIs and 3 stolen bases.
NOT LIST – Austin Jackson(CF/Tigers) 2 for 12 in last 3 games. Magglio Ordonez(RF/Tigers) 1 for 8 in June, though he’s only played in 3 games this month. Jhonny Peralta(SS/Tigers) 8 for 40 in his last 10 games, including 12 strikeouts. Chris Iannetta(C/Rockies) 5 for 28 in his last 10 games, with 10 strikeouts.
CLASS AAA: MEMPHIS 7 @ COLORADO SPRINGS 6 – The Sky Sox could only score 3 in the 9th, which wasn’t enough. Memphis scored in every inning except the 1st, 6th and 9th on 17 hits.
CLASS AA: TULSA 4 @ SPRINGFIELD 2 – Chaz Roe struck out 5 through 6 innings to improve to 6-2 on the season. Michael Paulk, Michael McKenry, and Ryan Harvey each hit a homerun.
CLASS A (ADVANCED): MODESTO 4 @ VISALIA 2 – Charles Blackmon went 4 for 5 with nothing to show for it, except a .306 batting average. Cory Riordan imporves to 9-6 after striking out 8 through 7 innings.
CLASS A: ASHEVILLE 6 @ LEXINGTON 7 – Jonnathan Aristil fell to a record of 2-7 after giving up 6 runs and 7 hits over 4 2/3 innings.
CLASS A (SHORT SEASON): SPOKANE 3 @ TRI CITY 0 – The Dust Devils managed 7 hits and no runs. Second baseman Jeremiah Sammy led the team with 3 hits on a 3 for 4 night.
CLASS A (ROOKIE): CASPER GHOSTS – Pioneer League night off.
CLASS AAA: FRESNO 7 @ COLORADO SPRINGS 6 – Fresno scored a run in the top of the 11th inning to down the Sky Sox. Matt Wilhite suffers the loss
CLASS AA: TULSA @ ARKANSAS – Postponed.
CLASS A (ADVANCED): MODESTO 3 @ SAN JOSE 1 – Charles Blackmon led Modesto with 2 RBIs on 3 for 4 hitting.
CLASS A: ASHEVILLE 2 @ LAKE COUNTY 7 – Ethan Hollingsworth struck out 10 batters in 5.2 innings and records the loss.
CLASS A (SHORT SEASON): TRI CITY 3 @ SPOKANE 2 – The Dust Devils score 2 in the 8th to take the lead and hold of the Indians for the win. Ben Paulsen led the team with 2 RBIs.
CLASS A (ROOKIE): MISSOULA 6 @ CASPER 8 – Casper broke a 6-6 tie in the 8th with 2 runs. Eliezer Mesa had 4 RBIs on 4 for 5 hitting.