Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Colorado Rockies keep rolling

The Rockies just won't quit.

On Wednesday night they took their third straight from the Cincinnati Reds and their six straight overall with a convincing 9-2 win.

Aaron Cook looked good in his return to Coors Field before getting a line drive hit off of his heel. He went five innings and give up just one run in a shaky first inning. After that inning, however, he looked like the vintage Aaron Cook.

The fact is, as bad as Cook has been in 2010, if he can somehow return to the form that put him in the All-Star game in 2008, the Rockies would be in a great position.

With Cook, the Rockies have Ubaldo Jimenez, who may not win the Cy Young, but will get votes, followed by emerging rookie Jhoulys Chacin, who is showing that he not only has the stuff to be a good major leaguer, but the confidence to put him over the top.

Don't forget Jorge De La Rosa and Jason Hammel, who both are far from back of the rotation guys.

The key to a run in September is for a team to know that they have a chance to win every single day regardless of who is on the mound. With the Rockies rotation, that is a distinct possibility.

While Colorado's pitching staff can carry them defensively, the offense is starting to get into a groove.

In August the Rockies decided that it was time to give Eric Young Jr. a chance to prove that he can be an everyday player. What has resulted has been a combination of Young and Dexter Fowler at the top of the lineup. Those two speedsters have started to fill up the bases for triple-crown threat Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki.

With Gonzalez looking to be pressing just a little bit with all of the national attention, Tulowitzki needs to step up and make sure that he takes good at-bats and gets hits to ensure that Gonzalez isn't seeing four pitches outside of the zone on every at-bat.

Tulowitzki did his part on Wednesday, clubbing two home runs in back-to-back at-bats deep to left field. The first was a three-run shot with a 1-2 count. Tulo kept his hands back long enough on a breaking ball that he was able to lift it deep to left.

The Rockies are still 4.5 games behind the Padres in the National League West. However, the Giants lost on Wednesday and the Rockies only trail them by 2.5 games at this point. What is important to note is that the Giants and Padres start a four game set at Petco Park on Thursday.

That series gives the Rockies a serious opportunity to gain some ground in the race. If the Rockies are able to win three out of the next four games, there is a good chance that they will gain a game on both teams in front of them.

The key for the Rockies is simply to continue finding ways to win. They know going into each game throughout the weekend that they will have an opportunity to gain a game on someone who is ahead of them in the standings. However, they will also be assured that a team ahead of them in the standings will also win. So the Rockies winning is the key to the standings.

If somehow the Rockies can cut the division lead from 4.5 to 2.5 by the time the Padres roll into Coors Field on Monday for a three game series, the club will have a serious chance to do some damage and make winning the division a reality.

First, and foremost, however, the Rockies must take care of business in their next four games.

For more on the Rockies visit RockiesReview.com

This article is also featured on INDenverTimes.com

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