Sunday's game at Coors Field had several great moments for the Rockies. However, the day belonged to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
The Colorado Rockies on Sunday became the last team in the Major Leagues to win a one run game this season. Entering Sunday, they were 0-8 in games decided by a lone run.
Aaron Cook continued his renaissance, pitching six innings and giving up only one earned run. After a horrible start, Cook has now thrown three consecutive solid outings, earning two wins and a no decision throughout the run. His earned run average now sits at 5.03.
Todd Helton, acting like a 25 year old all over again, swatted a first inning triple that was only a triple because it did not have the height to clear the wall in right field. Later he added an RBI double that proved to be the game winner.
The story of the game, however, is Tulowitzki. Tulo has been nothing short of miserable at the plate this season.
Nothing has been mechanically wrong with his swing, although he has tinkered with it a bit. The glaring issue with Tulowitzki at the plate has been between his own ears. Just like the beginning of the 2008 season, Tulowitzki was squeezing the bat so tightly and trying so hard to win the game with one swing of the bat, that all he could accomplish was hitting slow ground balls to the shortstop.
Tulowitzki is a competitor. In fact, until 2008, Tulo had never been on a losing team in his life. He was one of the main catalysts for the Rockies run to the National League pennant in 2007. His defense alone puts him in the category of many of the great shortstops in the game.
However, it is clear that Tulowitzki has realized that he needs to carry this team on his shoulders. Many experts said that the only way that the Rockies could compete in the National League West after losing Matt Holliday would be by having Tulowitzki and Helton step up and have great seasons at the plate.
That statement has been proven true so far this season, as Tulowitzki has sat close to the dreaded Mendoza line through the first six weeks.
Several times it has seemed that Tulo has been poised for a breakout. He has had a few big hits that pointed to the Tulowitzki of his rookie season, where he would routinely line pitches back up the middle, or drive a pitch to right-center for a double.
Those good at-bats, however, simply would not translate into the next at-bat. In fact, it almost seemed as if it was one step forward and then two steps back for the shortstop. The next time he stepped to the plate, Tulowitzki looked as if he felt that he would need to prove that he could get a big hit again.
Today was different however, as Tulowitzki showed confidence at the plate. He ripped a first inning home run into the bullpen in right center field, then later had another solid hit.
After a good weekend at the plate, Tulowitzki's average now stands at .237, which would seem to be disappointing, but after starting the season so poorly, it looks like .350.
If the Rockies, who now stand at 12-18, want to start the slow crawl back into the race in the National League West, Tulowitzki has to continue his climb back to respectability.