Those are just a few of the words that can describe a Rockies team that ran into the All-Star break at the exact wrong time. The team that took the field before the break looks nothing like the team that is dawning purple after it.
Blame it on being on the road. Blame it on running into some pretty good pitching. Heck, Jim Tracy blamed it on the heat and humidity in the pre-game show. Regardless, there has to be some sort of excuse for this team playing as bad as it has for over a week now.
Stop the engraving, not even once-certain Cy Young winner Ubaldo Jimenez is immune to the Rockies struggles. In fact, he may be the poster boy for a team that seemed headed in the right direction that is suddenly looking more like the Rockies of the early 2000's rather than the late.
Saturday, in their first nationally televised game since April of '09, the Rockies confirmed to the executives at Fox why they should be put back on the forgotten about list. The Rockies, it seemed, never showed up. Ubaldo Jimenez was the only Rockie at the park, so the Phillies just decided to take batting practice and asked the All-Star game starter to throw it to them. He obliged.
After the brutality was complete, the Rockies went home with another loss, this time it was 10-2. The Rockies made Kyle Kendrick, recently recalled from Triple-A look like the newest version of Roy Halladay.
Not that it mattered, the Phillies looked like an offensive team that had their binoculars back, seemingly knowing every pitch before it was thrown.
The Phillies represent what the Rockies are not. They believe that they are good. They know that they can win games, and they take advantage of mistakes. That is what teams who go to the World Series do. Teams that hope to contend, like the Rockies, go on the field and hope for a win. The Phillies figure out how to make it happen.
This road trip may be a deal breaker for the Rockies, who continue to lose ground not only to the Padres, but also to the Giants and Dodgers. Catching one team is hard enough, three is nearly impossible.
If the Rockies do not make the playoffs, the can look back at this road trip as the culprit. They haven't hit, they haven't pitched, they haven't played defense, and they haven't played with a killer instinct. They haven't played baseball the way a team who goes to the playoffs plays. They have played like the underdog who just hopes that they catch a break. When that break doesn't come, they hang their heads and hope for better luck down the road.
If the Rockies want to play in the postseason, they must not play around .500 baseball, they must continue to elevate beyond that mark. They have a chance to prove they can play with the best, but they continue to blow those chances.
They get another shot on Sunday. Rockies fans can only hope for the best.
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