Since the ASB, the Rockies came up with a new team theme: Each game is against a nameless and faceless opponent. The latest game was a 12-2 romp over the Dodgers. After Justin Turner spotted the Rockies a 2-0 lead with a two-run homer in the first inning, they came back with a roar in the bottom of the inning on a three-run blast by NoDo and a two-run shot by Mark Reynolds to dead center. Ball game right there with Tyler Anderson going seven easy innings to pick up the win. Colorado raised its record to 54-53 the latest (August 3rd) it has been above .500 since 2010. They are now three games back of WC #2, five back of the Dodgers, and seven back of the Giants.
Since the ASB, they swept the Braves, won the series in Atlanta, Baltimore and New York. They won the first two games against Los Angeles to start the eight-game home stand. There were no jumping for joy the last two nights. That is a great thing to see; it shows that the Rockies are very confident and has a swagger to boot. Colorado has a record of 14-5 since the break, best in the majors. Their theme of nameless and faceless opponent continues tomorrow at 6:40 pm MT with a chance to broom A-Gon and company.
The confidence grows exponentially when the rotation pitches quality start after quality start. That makes it a six-inning game when the soft underbelly can be avoided. Jake McGee and Gonzalez Germen are part of the very soft underbelly. Jordan Lyles is starting to show that he can pitch in higher leverage situations (still a small sample, but nevertheless promising). Wild Thing and Zero are starting to bloom as a 8th-9th lockdown pair. Chris Rusin appears to put long relief concerns to rest. That leaves Steve Foster and Darren Holmes with Gopherg and Boone Logan to put out fires at any time in the late innings. Remember there’s Miguel Castro, Matt Carasiti, and Sam Moll in Albuquerque that could harden the soft underbelly instantly.
When the pitching staff is suddenly pitching both at home and at altitude, it gives the offense plenty of swagger. They no longer have to squeeze the bats harder nor do they need to press individually. The offense has started to figure out how to produce quality at bats. They have learned how to be more patient and work the pitchers harder. It was evident when they beat Chris Tillman who has never lost at home and the gauntlet of the New York Mets rotation (deGrom, Matz, Colon, and Syndergard. Nearly every at bat were quality at-bats whether it was an 8-pitch battle, RBI ground out beating out double play, bunting for hits, or PUTTING BALLS IN PLAY!
Thunderstory is lost for the season, but it might actually be beneficial. Dan Descalso, with his post season and World Series experience (Cardinals), is showing the young team how to win games with his intangibles. He is a steadfast, calm presence in the bottom half of the order. Thunderstory hit a lot of home runs and drove in over 70 runs, but David Dahl has simply replaced his bat in the lineup and he has a nine-game hit streak to begin his career. He has been in the middle of the order behind CarGo and NoDo right from his first career game. All that in addition to his superb defense in the outfield.
The local media has been talking about how close they are to the wild card. I say let’s raise the bar even higher. Write the date down for the statement I’m about to make. We are going to battle for FIRST PLACE in the Wild West division. The reason I believe we can win the pennant are pitching, pitching, and pitching. Who has a better rotation health-wise: Los Angeles or Colorado? Colorado hands down. The Dodgers are scrambling to find arms from scrap heap. The Rockies on the other hand have pieces that will be of immediate help in both rotation and bullpen down on the farm. I think we are seeing fatigue set in big time on the aging Giants. Colorado gained nine games on San Francisco in three short weeks since the ASB.
Go ahead and try to bring me back down to earth with reality, my fellow RWOers. But my horse has the blinders on and I’m whipping the horse in the stretch run of the Belmont Stakes gaining speed like a runaway train. This is an age-old adage in any sports – defense (or pitching in baseball) is what takes a team a long way late in the season and post season. Jon Gray has emerged as the ace of the staff who can go toe to toe against any Cy Young winner. Come on over Jake Arrieta, let’s see if you can beat Jon Gray at Coors Field in a couple of weeks. Denver will no longer be a flyover city for the national media when we flip the calendar to September.
Tomorrow (Thursday) night, I will be going to the game at Coors Field. Of course, I’m switching back to the Tulo jersey with the WS patch. Tyler Chatwood goes against Maeda. Chatwood is probably the weak link of the rotation at Coors Field. Please don’t repeat the last game I attended and that was you pitching a stinker against the Rays of Tampa Bay. From a fan point of view, I wouldn’t mind another night of home run derby contest by the Colorado hitters. But just win the game, baby, whether it’s 1-0 or 8-2.
Time for Agbayani to come up with a new PAT that will find us nine more wins to be ten games above .500 in October. Time for EdtheUmp to stir up a purple Kool Aid drink. Time to hear pooter come up with the latest predictions, this time 100 wins in his update. Don’t you go to Washington D.C. BobinWV. You bring bad luck when the Rockies come to town to mingle with you. sdcarp will come up with a gem in a waiver trade when advising the Rockies.
After tomorrow night, our next game will be the “Bark at the Park” game against the Nationals (August 16). I’m confident that my golden retriever, Otto, is going to catch plenty of HR balls from the men in purple pinstripes. Screw you Strasburg.
ROY: Wild Thing MVP: CarGo GG: NoDo 4th straight BA champion: DJLM HR champion: CarGo Comeback Player of Year: tie between Chatty and Dahl.