Just how good are these Colorado Rockies?
This team of youngsters has an 11-game win streak entering the final series
of the regular season. They also have the best run differential in the
National League, more than 100 more runs scored than any other team in the NL
West, and a .615 home winning percentage.
They have the best record in baseball since September 1st. They have
the best record in baseball since August 1st. They have the best record in
baseball since July 1st. They also have the best record in baseball since
"I think they have made a statement," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said of his players.
"There's no feeling of urgency to win, but there is an urgency to go out
and play well. That's all."
The 2007 Rockies have won more games than any team in franchise history, and
have ensured themselves of the best winning percentage in franchise history as
They have trailed only once in 68 innings in winning all six
games of their most recent road trip, and that was briefly. The Dodgers
took a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the fifth Tuesday, but the Rockies came
back with two runs to go up 6-5 in the top of the sixth of what became a
"I think it says something about what we are doing, that we get up
early and maintain a lead," said shortstop and Rookie of the Year favorite Troy Tulowitzki. "When we
have had a glitch, we come back right away."
Most of the focus for the Rockies has been on their core of young players led
by Tulowitzki, and rightfully so. Matt Holliday, Garrett Atkins, and Brad Hawpe form one of the most potent under-age 30 trio of hitters in all of
baseball. But what is sometimes lost along the way is the veteran
leadership of Mr. Rockie himself, Todd Helton.
Helton enters the final weekend of the year with a .385 September batting
average that includes 18 runs scored and 20 driven in so far this month.
He also brings an 11-game hit streak into the Diamondbacks series, and has
reached base safely in his past 28 games.
"He has put it in another gear this month," Hurdle said of Helton, the newest
member of the 300-homer club. "He has always been a good player, but when
you find another gear it is special, and it doesn't get any better than that."
Many people thought that despite the Rockies obviously outstanding offense,
that their pitching staff would collapse when ace Aaron Cook hit the 60-day DL
on August 11th with a strained right oblique muscle. The Rockie shave done
just fine without him, however: their 3.89 ERA after the All-Star break ranks
third in all of baseball. This season should easily mark the fewest runs
the Rockies have allowed in their 15-year history, barring the strike-shortened
Rookie hotshots Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales have been excellent,
while veterans Josh Fogg and Jeff Francis have brought stability to two of the
other rotation spots. The fifth starter's spot has been a mess, and
journeyman Mark Redman will start a monumental game Saturday against the
Diamondbacks. But if the Rockies can grab hold of a playoff spot, Aaron
Cook may be healthy enough to return, and they won't need that fifth starter
with shortened rotations, anyway.
If the Arizona Diamondbacks can send the Rockies home in this series, they
will not only aid their own chances to make the playoffs, but they will help
themselves and every other NL team in their efforts to make the World Series.
No one is going to want to face these Rockies in the postseason, because the
Colorado Rockies are for real.
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