Rockies Run Streak To 11 Games
They won Sunday 7-1, giving the fans four tacos for a buck, and tying the franchise record for the longest win streak. Of course, the record they tied was the improbable "Streak" that happened at the end of the 2007 season.
There have been major changes between 2007 and 2009. Matt Holliday is gone. So is Kazuo Matsui, Brian Fuentes and most importantly Clint Hurdle.
Since the firing of manager Clint Hurdle on May 29, 2009, the Rockies have gone 13-4 under interim manager Jim Tracy. Some people say the sudden turnaround has nothing to do with the firing of Hurdle, but Jim Tracy is the reason for the amazing evolution the Rockies have had in the past 2-plus weeks.
Tracy's tenure as Rockies interim manager didn't start off well as he went 2-4 before the 11-game streak, but the run is because Tracy is giving playing time to those who actually deserve to play.
Clint Barmes had played in 44 games and with 142 plate appearances. During that time Barmes was hitting .234 with an on base percentage of .305 and an on-base plus slugging percentage of only .735. Since Hurdle's firing Barmes has played in 17 games with 80 plate appearances, and is hitting .384 with an OBP of .405 and an OPS of .980. Some of you might be screaming at this point that it has only been 17 games, well I have more examples.
So far Garrett Atkins' play, both offensively and defensively, has been crap. When the Rockies were under Clint Hurdle's management Garrett Atkins was playing daily (44 games and 176 PA) and was hitting a dismal .191 with an OBP of .273 and an OPS of .559.
What makes it even worse is that Clint Hurdle kept thinking that it would be a brilliant idea to bat Atkins in the cleanup spot. Since Tracy took over Atkins has raised all of his totals (.238/.313/.693 respectively since then). During that time, Atkins has started 10 of 17 games with Ian Stewart getting the other seven starts.
Ian Stewart, the stud third base prospect for the Rockies, started 25 games of the 45 he played in, and had about three plate appearances game. Since Hurdle got the axe, Stewart has played in 14 games, started 12, and is getting four plate appearances per game.
How has that helped him you might ask?
In the pre-firing days, Stewart was hitting only .187 with a .290 OBP and a .711 OPS. Since Hurdle was fired, Stewart has been one of the hottest sluggers, batting .308 with an OBP of .368 and an OPS of 1.022.
Those are only a couple of examples of how Tracy's management has benefited the Rockies during this streak. Not only have Barmes, Atkins and Stewart seen jumps, in numbers and playing time, so have Seth Smith and Omar Quintanilla.
Those numbers support what many members of the media have been speculating all along. Hurdle didn't manage the players he had well. Jim Tracy has had a profound impact on the Rockies since he was named interim manager. Now if you want to yell about small-sample sizes or just players turning the corner wait and look at the numbers. The numbers that clearly show Tracy has had a major impact on the Rockies.
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