At the beginning of June, the Colorado Rockies were in the basement of the NL West, a comfortable place for them, sitting at 20 and 29, 13.5 games out of first.
At the end of June, the Rockies were only 7.5 games back of first, and only 1.5 games out of the NL wild card.
Many things were positive for the Rockies in the month, so let's take a look into some specific numbers that helped Colorado climb the mountain in the standings.
The Rockies fired manager Clint Hurdle on May 29th, and the same day named Jim Tracy the new leader of the club house. Since then, Colorado has gone 23-and-eight overall under Tracy, including 11 interleague wins, tops in the NL.
The wins were a combination of hitting, pitching, and defense, as the Rockies performed all three facets of the game well.
Aaron Cook hit his 59th win in a Rockies' uniform, a new team record, and went five and one with an amazing 2.36 ERA, and 24 Ks.
The middle of the infield hit well in June, as the young duo of Tulowitzki and Barmes' playing is top-notch. Troy Tulowitzki had a break out month in June, as he hit .305 with seven home runs. In all, his 12 homers are good for second most by a short stop in the MLB. Clint Barmes, the Rockies second baseman, had 36 hits in June, second most in the NL.
The Rockies also had two NL Player of the Week Award winners, in Ian Stewart and Huston Street. Stewart hit four home runs in the week of June 1-7, and Street went five-for-five in saves the next week.
In all, the Rockies won 11 games in a row, including eight road wins on the streak. Both numbers tied Rockies' records. Colorado went 21-and-seven in the month of June, best in all of baseball, and also a Rockies' record for most wins in a month.
With all these great numbers, there are three Colorado Rockies that deserve to at least be looked at for the All-Star game. While I acknowledge that Colorado is "a small market" team, they still need to get national attention, starting here.
Jason Marquis has gone 10 and five this season so far with a 3.87 ERA, with 51 strikeouts. He has been great for the Rockies this year, as his 10 wins, are the most in the NL, tied for the MLB lead.
Brad Hawpe is hitting .333, with 13 homers and 56 RBIs. Overall, Hawpe leads all NL right fielders in batting avg, doubles, slugging, and RBI. He also hit his 100th HR in the Rockies pinstripes, eighth to do so.
Todd Helton, hitting .311 with nine HRs and 53 RBI. At age 35, Todd Helton hit his 318th HR, pushing him into the top 100 all time, something big for a player that has never been rumored of taking steroids. Helton is showing he is still one of the great 1st basemen of our time, and deserves at least a reserve roll on the squad.
Overall, if the Rockies can continue these winning ways, these good attitudes and loose play, they should at least challenge for the NL West, and likely grab the NL wildcard.
Now, for a closing bit of poetry...
Walt Whitman wrote, "I see great things in baseball. It's our game...The American game."