Those darn Rays.
But that's a tough thing to complain about; even with the loss, the Rockies have won 15 of their last 16, and no other team can boast such a run this year.
With this extremely surprising stretch of great baseball being played, the Rockies, dare I say it, have put themselves right back into the thick of the NL Wild Card hunt. If they can keep this run going until at least the All-Star break, there will be a chance even to win the division.
When was the last time we were able to talk about the Rockies winning the division?
Hmm...well, two years ago, in 2007, the Rockies were one game away from taking the division title away from the D-Backs. Had the D-Backs not broken the Rockies' other 11-game winning streak, Colorado would have won the division.
The comforting thing about this streak compared to the 2007 run to the World Series is that this team can lose and still stay in the hunt for the playoffs (yes, we are talking playoff baseball in June). Two seasons ago, if they lost more than that one game to the D-Backs, they would have lost any chance for the postseason.
Everyone's a Hero
One extremely intriguing thing about this run is that it has been done without a player like Matt Holliday. Like I said last week, there has been contribution from every spot in the order. In '07, when the games went down to the wire, everyone was waiting for Holliday to be the hero (with a few exceptions), but this time, there is a different hero every night.
Last night, Ian Stewart, Chris Iannetta, and Todd Helton all were heroes. That's right three in one night. And don't overlook their positions in the batting order: Helton is third, Stewart hits usually fifth, sixth, or seventh, depending on the night, and Iannetta hits eighth.
Production from all parts of the lineup is key to any team wishing to go on a run like the Rockies are on right now.
Hurlers Step Up
Another key to going on an amazing streak is pitching; this may be even more important. The Rockies have gotten great performances from their starting rotation (save for Jorge De La Rosa's start against the Rays on Tuesday in which he gave up seven earned in 2.1 innings).
Every other pitcher has given up a maximum of five runs (a total which was reached only by Jason Hammel last night). The rest have managed to give up a maximum of four.
Outside of a few pitchers like Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies fans have not been able to watch games without thinking "Oh man, he's gonna lose it here," until this amazing stretch. Every pitcher has gained the confidence of the fans during this time.
Not only that, but the pitchers are giving the offense a chance to win the game.
When both the pitchers and the hitters begin to hit their strides at the same time, special things will happen. Just look at the streak by the Rockies.
Judging by how consistent this team has been over the past couple weeks, this streak isn't going to end anytime soon, and boy, do I and many other fans hope that it doesn't end soon.
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