April 26, 2010
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To say this has been an emotional week for the Colorado Rockies is a vast understatement.
No one thought when Ubaldo Jimenez threw the club's first ever no-hitter and then the team would be saying goodbye to their president, who by all accounts was the heart and soul of the franchise, eight days later. The club has gone from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.
Most never knew who Keli McGregor was before the week started. Anyone who is a Rockies fan knows who he was now. From the sound of it, he made a deep impact on everyone's life around him.
A man deeply rooted in faith who never wavered, he lived as a model to those around him. Former manager Clint Hurdle referred to him as his mentor, someone who taught him how to be a husband and father.
On a day when it must have been tough for the Rockies to take the field, they responded to the emotions and won decisively over the Marlins 8-4, taking 2-of-3 to win the series.
The game was squarely in the Rockies control, however, in the eighth inning, the Marlins threatened. Down 8-3, they had two runners in scoring position and no one out. With Wes Helms pinch hitting, Matt Daley made a decent pitch that Helms popped up to shallow center.
It had all the makings of a ball that would fall into the Bermuda Triangle. With Dexter Fowler facing in and Troy Tulowitzki and Clint Barmes racing out, the ball continued to float further into the outfield. Amazingly, Barmes came up with the over the shoulder catch, quickly spun and threw the ball back to the infield, holding the runners at their respective bases. It was a reminder of just how good of a defensive player Barmes is.
The Rockies were afforded breathing room after Seth Smith, playing left field due to Brad Hawpe's quad injury, launched two home runs off of Marlins starter Chris Volstad. Miguel Olivo also added a three run shot, his fifth of the season and third in as many starts.
The game featured the offense that the Rockies have been waiting to see. When this club is clicking offensively, there are no holes and there is no way to pitch around anyone. When Ian Stewart hits out of the seven hole, pitchers should fear for their ERAs and hope that their fifth day does not come around when they visit Denver.
With the win, the Rockies are now one game above .500 once again. If they can manage to take two of three from the suddenly home run crazy Diamondbacks, they will be in a good position to finish out April without crashing and burning the way they have the past three seasons.
That will go a long way for them as they fight down the stretch. In 2007 and 2009, the Rockies found themselves exerting so much energy to crawl back into the race that they were out of gas when they needed to push the throttle.
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