Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rockies can't let All-Star break steal their thunder

Saturday night in Cincinnati was a night that was not unfamiliar to the Rockies.

Unfortunately for fans in Colorado, it was not reminiscent of the Rockies team that completed an 8-2 homestand before the All-Star break, it was the team who took the field in April and May. The Rockies dropped their second straight game to the Reds 8-1.

While Jorge De La Rosa continues to find his way on the mound, the Rockies offense did nothing to help the lefties cause. The Rockies scored a lone run in the first inning off of Edinson Volquez, fresh off of Tommy John surgery, then proceeded to look silly throughout the rest of the night.

After a three week stretch in which it seemed as if no lead was safe against the Rockies, the club looked like they had been beaten after the Reds took a one-run lead in the third inning. The offense was lifeless, going through the motions. It was eerily similar to the under performing Rockies team that could not seem to get on track until they played the Red Sox in June.

It is still July, there are still plenty of baseball games left to be played. However, the Rockies cannot afford to have a bad road trip. They have completed the first two games of an 11 game swing in which they play the Reds one more time, then head to Florida for four games and to Philadelphia for four games. A 2-9 road trip could put the Rockies well out of contention in the National League West.

As recently as last Sunday the Rockies had a chance to be tied for first place in the National League West. One week later they sit four games out and in third place behind the Padres and suddenly surging Giants. Losing three games in the standings is bad enough, but considering that they have only played three games since Sunday is significant.

The Rockies are like the smart kid in class who procrastinates. Everyone knows that he is smart enough to get an A in the class, but he doesn't write the final paper until two hours before it is due. The problem with that approach is that there is no room for error. If the Rockies stumble somewhere along the way they could easily find themselves just far enough out of the race to not be able to climb back in.

It is very important, if the Rockies want to win their first ever National League West crown, for them to make this road trip at least a decent one. They do not need to win the final nine games of the trip, but they do need to shoot for at least five to six wins. If they can pull that off, they will be in a decent position as they come home. If not, they may not have anything left in the tank to continue their late season run.

For more on the Rockies visit RockiesReview.com

This article is also featured on INDenverTimes.com


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