Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Colorado Rockies Ready To Break Out


After Tuesday night's 2-1 10 inning loss to the Padres, the Colorado Rockies dropped to 0-8 in one run games.

That is bad news for the Rockies, who are clearly struggling early. The record sits at 10-15. That is not exactly where Colorado was hoping to be 25 games into the season.

After blowing another great performance by a starter, Aaron Cook pitched eight innings and gave up one run, it seems difficult to put a positive spin on the Rockies season thus far. However, it may not be as hard as it sounds.

All three aspects of the Rockies game are finally starting to come together. Cook now has strung together two very good starts. At home against the Padres last week he pitched seven strong innings, giving up three runs. Tuesday in San Diego he looked shaky early, but was able to work his way out of a few early jams and ended up pitching eight strong innings giving up only a run in the first inning.

On Friday night in San Francisco, the other starting pitcher suffering early in the season, Ubaldo Jimenez, pitched well and nearly matched future hall-of-famer, Randy Johnson.

Cook and Jimenez both seem back on track, along with Jason Marquis proving to be good as gold so far with a 4-1 record, and Jason Hammel pitching well in his last outing as well.

To go along with the pitching, the offense is showing signs of life.

Despite two games in which the Rockies scored zero and one runs respectively, there are individuals who are breaking out of their early season slumps.

Chris Iannetta hit a huge grand slam on Monday night that won the game for Colorado. Tuesday night he tied the game up just one inning after the Rox were unable to convert a first and third situation with no outs. The home run tied the game in the eight inning and gave the Rockies a chance to win the game.

Iannetta is still struggling, but is showing signs of life. He as well as Ryan Spilborghs are coming out of their early season slumps to give the Rockies hope.

If there is one hitter who is showing that he is not a has-been, it is Todd Helton. The man who lost his season last year due to a back that if reality was known, had been hurting him for three years, extended his hitting streak to eight games, seven of which have been multi hit games.

Helton had many critics over the last few years. Right now, there is not another player on the team that anyone on the club would rather see come up to bat in a big situation. Helton's batting average stands at .341, and that is after an extremely slow start in which his average dropped below .200 around the 20th of April.

The Rockies are struggling. There is no other way to say that. They are playing far below their potential. The fact is, they have not been able to put away the close games. 0-8 in one run games is a franchise record, it also has not been done in the Major Leagues since before 1920.

At some point, the luck will have to turn in the Rockies favor. While many of the one run losses have been poorly played games, even the worst of teams will still close out a few of them. That is the law of averages. If the Rockies had converted half of their one run games, their record would stand at 14-11.

At some point, the ball will bounce in the Rockies favor, and with the team starting to get into sync, it should happen soon.

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