The Rockies return home to Denver and Coors Field for a six game home stand with all 6 games against divisional rivals. The Rockies will play 3 games against the Arizona Diamondbacks, and then 3 games over the weekend with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Is this home stand a make or break critical six games for the Rockies and their chances of winning the National League West?
The Rockies have played some pretty bad baseball over the last month. They have lost some ugly games. But, as bad as Friday nights loss was, the Rockies didn’t quit and fold up. The Rox came back to beat the Kansas City Royals in two straight games. Sunday’s victory while not a great game, especially on the part of starter Aaron Cook was over the American League Cy Young winner, Zack Greinke. The Rockies bats came alive, and in a reverse of the season so far, it was the Rockies that made a Cy Young pitcher, look pedestrian.
With the series win against the Royals the Rockies again find themselves at .500. They are 22 up, and 22 down. They are in 4th place in the National League West at 4.0 games behind. The Dodgers who have been hot, finally lost a couple of games, and are one game behind the first place San Diego Padres. San Francisco Giants are in 3rd place and are only a half game ahead of the Rockies. The Giants have lost 5 straight games having just gotten swept by their bay area inter-league rivals the mighty Oakland A’s. Bringing up the rear is the D-backs who are 20 and 25 on the year, and 6 1/2 games behind the Padres.
The Rockies have looked at times terrible this year. The Rockies have played sloppy baseball, and have had poor fundamentals. They have been inconsistent in every area of baseball, with no area being solid. The Rockies have found many different ways in blowing games. It’s this inconsistency that is hard to get a hold of. Are the Rockies the really good team that managed to bounce back against the Royals after Friday night’s embarrassment? Or are they the sad joke, that lost games in Houston, and in KC on Friday?
I think the Rox are still the good team, that needs to put together those good games, and eliminate the mistakes. The Rockies need to start playing complete baseball, which means, good starting pitching, good hitting, good defense, and good solid relief pitching. The Rockies don’t need to be great, they just need to be solid and complete. They have shown that they can perform well in all the areas, just not consistently.
Which brings us back to this week and this up-coming home stand. It’s no secret that winning baseball teams win at home. They just do. Getting to bat last, and sleep in your own bed goes a long way to winning baseball games.
It’s also no secret that winning baseball teams usually win games in their division. Teams do play the teams in their division the most. If you want to win the division, math alone says a team has to beat the other divisional rivals.
So yes I think this is a critical home stand for the Rockies. If they want to win the division, and to make the playoffs, they have to start winning. They have to start winning at home, and they have to start beating the other teams in their division. All of which we have this week.
The Rockies also find this week, that they have a division foe whose record is worse than the Rockies. Another key to winning baseball, is to win the games against lesser teams. The Rockies need to take advantage of the Diamondback woes, and rack up some wins against a struggling team.
Later this week the Rockies also find themselves playing the Dodgers, who have gotten hot. Many picked the Dodgers to be the team the Rockies would have to beat to win the National League West. Right now, that is looking to be true. To be the best you have to beat the best, and, that means the Rockies have to beat the Dodgers. The Rockies can cool the Dodger down. Wins against LA will go along way for the Rockies to control their own future destiny.
What happens this week and on this home stand could determine the fate of the Rockies in 2010. If the Rockies win both series, they have a fighting chance to win the division. If the Rockies lose both series, you can write them off as an also ran. Losing this week means the Rockies start to slip away and they will start to get buried which will mean they would be needing that miracle run again to come from a hole they would find themselves buried in.
Almost as bad for the Rockies: Go 3-3 and stay .500. .500 teams don’t win divisions. .500 teams are the definition of mediocre. It would leave the Rockies thinking they are in something, they really aren’t in.
This is a big critical home stand for the Rockies. Weather should be good, so buy your tickets and support your Rox!
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