Finally! Finally the Rockies got good starting pitching from someone not named Ubaldo. In fact, they got two quality starts!
Finally the Rockies picked up a timely hit. Finally the Rockies made productive outs. Finally the Rockies didn't have a good starting pitching outing blown by an over worked and out of place bullpen. Finally, the SUN SHINED ON COORS FIELD!
The Rockies won on Sunday, behind a solid outing by Jeff Francis. He wasn't dominant. He will never, really be dominant. But he can be very effective, and work out of jams. He was vintage Francis.
The win on Sunday by the Rockies was the 3rd win in a row! This is the first time the Rockies have won 3 games in a row this season. It also was the 4th win in 5 games for the Rox. But don't get too excited just yet. These wins elevated the Rockies to a "winning" team, as their season record is 19-18. But the Rockies are still in 4th place in the NL West. The team in the rear-view mirror, well, they just blew past the Rockies, and that team is the suddenly hot LA Dodgers. The Dodgers have won 9 out of their last 10 games. Their only loss was to the Rockies last Saturday.
The Padres still lead the division, but they are slowing down, having dropped 3 in a row to the Dodgers. See how that works? One team wins, another loses. The San Francisco Giants are in 2nd at 1/2 game behind the Padres, and the 2 teams play a 2 game set in San Francisco starting tonight. The Dodgers are in 3rd place, 2 games off the pace. They are followed, like I mentioned, by the Rockies who are a game behind the Dodgers and 3 games behind the Padres. The Diamondbacks are in free fall. They are 2-8 over their last 10 games, and a full 7 1/2 games behind the Padres and 4 1/2 games behind the Rockies already this season.
Another finally, the Rockies FINALLY get to play a team with a losing record, as they travel to Chicago south-side to take on the 16-22 Cubs for 2 games, then down to Houston for 2 games against the Astros. The Astros are the worst team in the the National League, with only 13 wins to go against 24 L's.
The Cubs series is very winnable for the Rockies. Tonight (Monday), the Rockies have Aaron Cook who actually had a solid outing his last time out going against Randy Wells. No one will mistake Wells for a Cy Young candidate. He's back of the Rotation filler (well, so is Aaron Cook if the Rockies fans take off their purple colored glasses).
Tuesday's game will match Jhoulys Chacin vs Carlos Silva. This is an interesting match up. Chacin has had 2 great starts, but his last one wasn't so great. That's to be expected with any rookie. The question is how will he bounce back? Carlos Silva has been arguably the Cub's best starter on the year so far. Silva won't strike out a lot of guys, with only 26 on the season in 42 innings pitched, but he isn't walking many either, with only 9 on the year. Can Silva keep it going?
The key for the Rockies pitchers in this series will be to keep the struggling Cubs hitters struggling, especially Arimis Ramirez .167/.234/.268/.502 and Derrek Lee .238/.341/.367/.698. It should be pointed out that Lee is starting to heat up, and has a 6 game hitting streak going on coming into this series and 3 of those games were multi-hit games.
Finally, I think this Rockies team is pointing in the right direction. Finally there is joy in Rox-ville in 2010.