The Colorado Rockies will arrive at Coors Field today in a historically unusual position.
Last year on April 18th, the Rockies were fresh off Ubaldo Jimenez's no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves, the first in their young history, but they sat two games back of San Francisco, eventual division champions and World Series title holders.
This year, however, the Rockies can make a statement this week. They are arguably the best team in baseball with a major-league leading 12-3 record. The Giants sit at 8-7, just one game north of .500.
The Rockies have been playing some of their best baseball ever recently, and if they can take at least two of three from the defending world champions, the Rockies can send a message to the rest of the baseball world:
"We're for real and we're here to stay."
The Rockies will send Esmil Rogers to the hill today against Tim Lincecum, who some still argue is the best pitcher in the NL West. Tomorrow, fans can look forward to the much-anticipated return of Ubaldo Jimenez against Jonathan Sanchez, who is second in that power rotation for a reason. Wednesday, Jorge De La Rosa will face Matt Cain in what could be the best pitching matchup of the series.
This won't be a walk in the park, though.
The Giants will be the first team the Rockies face in 2011 with a winning record. While it may not be a great record, it's better than the combined 26-32 record of the previous four teams they've faced thus far. The Rockies haven't lost a series all year, and they don't want that to change.
Division matchups have been another weak point for the Rockies for years now. They're already 4-1 in the NL West, and have a chance to put themselves in even better position with this three-game series.
Currently, the Rockies hold the largest division lead in baseball at four games. If they can win this series and extend that lead, the Rockies have a chance to send a very powerful message throughout the Major Leagues.
It's very hard to move mountains.