On Thursday afternoon the Mets, behind a 10 strikeout, complete-game performance by Johan Santana, shut out the Rockies for the second time in three days, 4-0.
In all fairness to Santana, who is an elite pitcher in the league, the Rockies may lose to the North Jeffco little leaguers the way they are playing on the road.
Losing to Santana is acceptable. He is an ace. However, making the likes of Ross Ohlendorf, James McDonald, Jonathan Niese, look like All-Stars is completely ridiculous. Heading home after a 3-4 road trip in mid-August when the two opponents are horrible and barely decent is unacceptable for a playoff contender.
Feelings around Rockies nation are that the club can make a run. Why not? After all, two of the last three seasons the Rockies have overcome huge odds to take a spot in the playoffs. The only problem is that both of those runs were unprecedented in baseball history.
In 2007, the Rockies won 14 of their final 15 regular season games to make the playoffs. They were six games out of the wild card race heading into play on September 14th. In 2009, the Rockies were 15 games out of first place in early June. Their phenomenal June, as well as steady play throughout the rest of the season nearly landed them with the club's first ever National League West crown. Those feats are amazing, however, because no other team had ever accomplished something so amazing.
The fact is, the 2010 season feels a whole lot more like 2008 than 2007 or 2009.
In 2008 the Rockies were coming off of their first ever World Series appearance and were faced with large expectations. They needed to prove that they were not just a Cinderella story. Those expectations proved to be too much for the club and the floundered.
This 2010 season is very similar to that feeling. The Rockies have never had more spring training coverage. They have never had anyone predict them as World Series champions before the season started. Not only were they picked by some experts as potential World Series champs, they seemed to be the sweetheart pick of the national media.
Much the same as it was in 2008, the Rockies cannot get in a groove. They are not being dominated by other teams, they are defeating themselves. On the road when the club gets down by a run or two early in the game the whole attitude of the team visibly changes. The club mopes around as if they are completely incapable of putting a rally together at any point in the game.
The fact is, the Rockies still have time to turn their season around. However, it just doesn't seem like that is going to happen. They have no sense of urgency, they cannot get over the hump on the road and their attitude suggests that the solution would be easier to come to in November than in August.
If the Rockies want to make the playoffs, which seems debatable after another lackluster road trip, they must start playing with some swagger right away. They cannot afford to wait until the middle of September, they must go on a run now.
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