Rockies Place Final Nail in Giants' Coffin, Schedule Threatens to Drive It Home

Bleacher ReportSenior Writer ISeptember 17, 2009

The San Francisco Giants' 2009 season might've cleared the point of no return the minute Ian Stewart's two-run bomb cleared the right-center field fence at AT&T Park.

Although the game against the Colorado Rockies still had some life in it after Stewart's sixth-inning blast made it 4-0, the Giants wouldn't be able to make up that last run.

Despite a spirited ninth-inning comeback against the previously untouchable Franklin Morales, our guys came up one run short and fell 4-3.

What could've been a reasonable last-ditch run at the National League Wild Card, sitting only one game away in the loss column, is now a quixotic charge up a three-loss hill with only 16 games remaining.

Under ordinary Major League Baseball circumstances, that wouldn't be overly intimidating.

Unfortunately for the San Francisco faithful, there has been nothing ordinary about the Rox since Jim Tracy took over the team.

Colorado has been molten since June. Ubaldo Jimenez (though showing some wear lately) has blossomed into the ace everyone expected him to be after the magical 2007 run.

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Troy Tulowitzki has been leading an offensive attack that has been raking, and Jorge De La Rosa might be the most unknown filthy starter in baseball.

How many of you know that Wednesday night's winner for the Rockies has gone 15-3 since opening the season 0-6? Or that he's pitched to an earned run average around three and whiffed roughly a batter an inning?

While Tracy is deservedly reaping the credit for Colorado's violent U-turn, a quick look at his game log will reveal that De La Rosa's phenomenal streak coincides as perfectly with the team's about-face.

When the 28-year-old southpaw won his first game of the year on June 5, the new skipper had been on the job for exactly a week but had lost four of the seven games in the interim.

The Rockies' temperature started to rise in earnest on June 4, the first win of an 11-game streak that saw the starter get the W in 10 of the contests.

Regardless of whom you tab as the primary cog in the clicking engine, one thing is absolutely certain—the engine is clicking. The only serious snag seems to be when they take their show on the road.

Away from Denver, the Rox revert to a somewhat mortal squad.

Even so, the squad sits one game over .500 for the season away from Coors Field. In any event, Colorado only has to leave Denver for baseball six times in their remaining 15 games.

Meanwhile, our Giants must take their wares to Arizona, San Diego, and Los Angeles for a total of nine more roadies. Considering how less potent the boys become away from the City, none of that is good news.

The worse news is that Los Gigantes have yet to win in six tries against the Padres at Petco Park and have only managed two wins in two series against the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.

The Diamondbacks have been more hospitable, losing four of six to the Giants at Chase Field.

Nope, the Baseball Gods have done the fellas no favors in September and October. With four games at home against the Chicago Cubs, the only apparent lay-up SF has is a three-game homer against the Snakes. By then, it might be too late.

If it's not already.