Colorado Rockies: Top Five Reasons They Still Have a Chance
As we all know, the Rockies are a team that has put together some incredible runs in the past several years.
We all remember '07, when the Rockies flew right into the postseason and marched all the way through the playoffs, only to be swept by the Red Sox in the World Series.
Last year Colorado went from one of the worst teams in the NL to one of the best teams in the league, stringing together wins in large numbers.
With large winning streaks in their history, it is hard to count out the Rockies, especially when somehow they find themselves only four games out of the wild card race. They may be horrible on the road, but most of their games from this point on are home, and most are against teams they are chasing in the wild card race.
5. Todd Helton
This may be Todd Helton's worst year of his career...to this point. Helton has started hitting, and his average is slowly going north.
He may still have a .260 average to this point, but if he consistently hits .290 or better, he will be giving the Rockies a huge lift. It's not hard to believe that he could hit above .300 the rest of the year with a good eye and a good solid swing.
He is a veteran that provides leadership and is one of the few or maybe the only Rockie that hits on the road.
Todd Helton has been a batting champ and has earned numerous awards throughout his career but has yet to win a World Series. His years of playing baseball are about over, so this year could be his last shot at the Series.
For many years Todd has been known as Mr. Rockie; now it is time for him to once again play like a Mile High hero.
4. Eric Young.....Jr.?
All longtime Rockies fans know one of the team's best speedster, Eric Young.
Now his son has taken over the family business and is the Rockies' X-factor. In his time in the minors he has improved his swing and fielding to go along with his dynamite speed.
Since coming up he has taken over for an inconsistent Clint Barmes at second base. Initially this might have been just a move to get E.Y. confidence and something to build upon to start next season. But when Jim Tracy fills in E.Y.'s name at second base, he is putting in the better player.
Young is the fastest player in baseball; there is no question. He can steal a base with a standing lead and gets inside a pitcher's head. In the past week he has also made some incredible plays at second base.
With Young and Dexter Fowler atop the Rockies' lineup, they may have the best speed in baseball.
Some think that Rocktober was the start of the Rockies' clever name and month combination, but many forget what the Rockies have done in September.
With that month coming right around the corner, we might have another team pushing its way into the thick of things.
When you look back at the Rockies of '07 and the Rockies of today, you will see a completely different team—not only because of the number of names not on the team's roster anymore, but because of a change in culture.
In '07 the Rockies were the ultimate underdogs. So far this season they have been underachievers.
Looming in the shadows is a team that many have already counted out. I have not.
2. Coors Field
Coors Field is a genuine hitter's park, but what the Rockies do on the road is just sad. They can't hit, they can't pitch, and they don't look to be putting out any effort.
There must be something in the water, or maybe it's just a good night's sleep, but the Rockies are a different animal when they play at Coors.
If they had just a .500 year on the road, they'd be the best team in the league. But for some strange reason they can't hit when they go lower than 5,280 feet.
With more games at home, the Rockies will have to take advantage of their uneven play and string a few big home series sweeps together.
The batting for some guys is coming back, and the pitching is improving, most notably Huston Street. All the Rockies need is another big finish—one that we all know they can pull off.
1. Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki
So far this season you can argue that Gonzalez and Tulowitzki are the best one-two punch in baseball—better than Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday, and better than Joey Votto and Scott Rolen.
Both have a .320 batting average, both are great fielders, and both can end a game with one swing of the bat.
If it wasn't for Tulo's broken hand in late June, he would be up with CarGo competing for the NL batting title. But since his return, he and Gonzalez have been deadly. Coming back to back from different sides of the plate, they give any opposing pitcher a headache.
What the Rockies had in '07 was much like the Rockies of today. With Matt Holliday and Brad Hawpe anchoring a lineup that was extremely deadly, they had a chance every night for a big win. In '07 they might have had a stronger lineup, but this year's team is not too far behind (when at Coors Field).