Down 4-2 in the 8th inning, Troy Tulowitzki crushed a line drive to left field that hit off of the glove of Ryan Braun and into the first row of seats, giving the Rockies a 5-4 lead that Huston Street made stand in the 9th.
What makes the Rockies a completely different team at home than on the road is a mystery. Jim Tracy gives credit to the fans. Others have suggested that the large outfield allows the Rockies to believe that they can simply make contact and the ball will find the grass. Whatever the reason, if the Rockies could be half of the offensive threat on the road as they are at home, they would be leading the National League West by five games.
The difference between the home Rockies and the away Rockies is so profound that whatever the actual reason for the club's struggles, the attention surrounding it has made it become more mental than anything else.
On Friday night, with the Rockies down 4-2 late in the game, the feeling was not that the Rockies were going to pack it in and wait for Saturday's game. The club oozed confidence that they were simply going to find a way to win it. On the road, that confidence is nowhere to be found. Most of the time the Rockies look like they are deers in the headlights when the opposition scores a single run early in the game.
The most frustrating thing for Rockies fans is that they know better than to quit on this club. When most teams can cash in their seasons and make October vacation plans, these Rockies are busy finding a way to squeeze back into the playoff picture. Traditional thinking would suggest that finding a way to crawl back into the playoff picture is not a frustrating thing. However, the way the Rockies found themselves in the playoffs two of the last three years has been so unconventional that it just doesn't seem possible a third time.
The other frustrating part about being a Rockies fan is watching the home squad play the way that they are talented enough to play, then seeing the road team blow all of the ground that was gained.
So are the Rockies done? The realistic answer is yes. There are too many games to regain in the division and too many teams to jump in the wild card race. However, if there is a team that can suddenly find their way and play to their potential over a long stretch, it is the Colorado Rockies.
However, if they are going to get back into the race, they have no more time to waste. They must go on a run, and they must do it immediately. They have wasted as much time as possible. To get to the playoffs they must be within four games of the wild card by the end of August. On top of that, they must be at least third in the wild card race. If they are any further behind than that, they have no chance.
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