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The Rockies have been one of the toughest teams to figure out over the last four seasons. In 2007, they won 13 of their final 14 regular-season games. Then, they beat the Padres in a one-game playoff for the NL Wild Card. Then, they swept through the first two rounds of the playoffs, beating the Phillies in three straight and the Diamondbacks in four.
Altogether, that's 21 wins in 22 games.
They went on to get swept by Boston in the World Series, being outscored 29-10 in the three games.
They followed up their trip to the World Series by laying an egg in 2008, finishing the season 14 games under .500.
In 2009, they were back up to their old tricks. They were 12 games under .500 on June 3 before winning 21 of their next 25 games, which included an 11-game winning streak. They found themselves back in the playoffs, but lost in the first round to the Phillies.
In 2010, the Rockies were in competition in the NL West into September, but their penchant for streaky play finally got the better of them. They lost 13 of their last 14 games and missed out on the playoffs.
Their streaky play as a team mirrors the streaky play of their star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The oft-injured Tulo has been up and down in his young career, at times looking like a bum and at times looking like a god.
In September of last year, he had a mind-blowing stretch of games, finishing out the month with 15 HR, 40 RBI, and 30 R.
The good news for the inconsistent Rockies is that the NL West should be wide-open again in 2011. The Giants and Padres both feature outstanding pitching, but little offense. Colorado could be the most balanced team in the division.
If Tulowitzki can put together a complete season and 2010 breakout superstar Carlos Gonzalez can come close to repeating his production, the Rockies will be well on their way to a playoff bid.
Ty Wigginton and Ian Stewart are both capable of belting 20 HR, which will ease the burden on the shoulders of Tulo and Gonzalez.
In 2010, Ubaldo Jimenez showed he could be one of the very best pitchers in the game. He was 15-1 before the All-Star Break which included a no-hitter against Atlanta on April 17.
In addition, if the Rockies do make the playoffs, they have one of the most unique home field advantages in baseball.
Coors Field is notoriously a hitters' paradise, and the Rockies generally fill their staff with ground ball pitchers to try to offset the mile-high thin air. Only the Twins had a better home record than the Rockies last season.