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Rockie(s) Road 06/19/2009

Posted by sportretort in mlb, Sports, Uncategorized.
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The Colorado Rockies are currently the hottest team in baseball having won 13 of their last 14 games.  The Rocks were 10 games under the .500 mark when Clint Hurdle was dismissed as their manager.  Jim Tracy was named as the

Jason Marquis was a key off season addition to the Rockies pitching staff

Jason Marquis was a key off season addition to the Rockies pitching staff

interim manager, and the Rockies are 15-5 since he took the reins.  Their 4-3 victory over Tampa Bay yesterday evened their over all mark at 33-33.  It marks the first time Colorado has been at .500 since April 15.  The 11 game winning streak the Rockies compiled tied the team record first set during the magical end of the season run in 2007, where the team won 21 of 22 games, including a wild card playoff game win and sweeps of the NLDS and NLCS to land in the World Series.  With 94 games left in the season, it is hard to get that excited, but this club has shown what it is capable of.

The key to the current streak, as in most baseball streaks, has been pitching.  The starters have amassed a 12-1 record during this stretch, and that means that not only are the starters pitching well, but the bullpen, when called upon, is also doing their job.  Two key off season acquisitions have led the way in the pitching department.  Jason Marquis was acquired from the Cubs, and he has been a rock solid starter with an 8-4 record to lead the club in wins so far.  Closer Houston Street, acquired in the Matt Holliday trade with Oakland is 15 out of 16 in save opportunities.  In addition, Aaron Cook is 6-3 and Ubaldo Jimenez is 6-6, but has pitched well as of late, giving the Rocks 3 solid starters.  As long as the pitching continues, the Rockies will become a force in the NL playoff picture.  Who would have thought that 4 weeks ago?

While the Rockies are no threat to catch the Los Angeles Dodgers (probably the best team in the National League),

The Rockies are 15-5 with Jim Tracey as manager

The Rockies are 15-5 with Jim Tracy as manager

they have gotten back into the Wild Card picture.  The recent 4 game sweep at St Louis and 3 game sweep at Milwaukee (both teams above .500)  prove that they can play with the other teams in the NL.  It all depends on the pitching, because the Rockies have a very good offense.  They rank in the top 5  teams in the NL in slugging percentage,  on base percentage, doubbles, runs scored and home runs.  Lead by a resurgent Todd Helton, healthy for the first time in 3 years, Troy Tulowitzki, Brad Hawpe and Clint Barmes, the Rockies have a solid line up.  Dexter Fowler’s speed has paid dividends both offensively (11 stolen bases and a .400 slugging percentage) and defensively, helping to patrol the expansive outfield in Coors Field.  Ian Stewart leads the powerful line up in home runs with 12, and Hawpe (.355 avg,  9 hr,47 rbi) is giving Helton (.307 avg, , 8 hr,  46 rbi) a run for his money as the best all around hitter on the team.

When June began, the question was who were the Rockies going to trade to dump salary before the trade deadline.  A managerial change and a good, solid few weeks later, It looks like the Colorado may be looking to add a the deadline, not subtract.  Keep an eye on Colorado;  We may revisit Roctober after all.

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