Monday, September 27, 2010

Colorado Rockies remove all doubt

The Colorado Rockies easily could have spent this whole week making up scenarios that most likely weren't going to happen.

They could have talked about how if only the Padres, Giants and Braves would go on to lose all of their games, and the Rockies won all of theirs, then...well, of course, the Rockies are still alive.

On Monday night at Coors Field, with their ace Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound looking for his 20th win of the season, the Rockies removed all doubt, losing to the lowly Dodgers 3-1.

Jimenez looked to be back on track, save a bad first inning that he nearly got out of. He went seven innings, giving up just the two first inning runs. He struck out six and walked out four. He has one more chance to pick up his 20th win, on Saturday in St. Louis.

The Rockies were owned by Ted Lilly, for the third time in 2010. Whether he is a Cub or a Dodger, one thing never seems to change, he owns the Rockies. Besides a Carlos Gonzalez monster home run to deep center field, Lilly was nearly untouchable.

For the Rockies, the offseason is essentially here. They are already making decisions that are leading into the winter. Jason Giambi has been shutdown with sore biceps from his swing on Sunday. If the Rockies were actually still in the playoff race, he most likely would be available.

Is it a disappointment that the Rockies did not make the playoffs in 2010? Of course. Dan O'Dowd and the front office put together a team that was more talented than any team in the history of the franchise. The Rockies looked stacked from top to bottom. The talent was there, but the results took too long to come around.

Despite the season being a disappointment, there are several reasons why Rockies fans should not be completely upset with their team. Despite losing Troy Tulowitzki missing 33 games with a broken wrist in the middle of the season, the Rockies were still in the race in the middle of September.

Despite losing their top left-handed pitcher in Jorge De La Rosa for nearly one-third of the season, the Rockies were able to hang around late into the race.

The progression of Jhoulys Chacin has been more than encouraging. Ubaldo Jimenez, despite regressing in the second half, showed how good he can be. For the first time in their history, the Rockies have a starter who is one of the best in the league.

The Rockies may not be in the playoffs, but the franchise and their fans still have quite a bit to be encouraged about. This team was not thrown together to give them one chance at winning a championship. This team has been built to compete for the long term. They may have fallen short in 2010, but all signs are pointing to this team being very competitive for many years to come.

Five years ago, the rallying cry for Rockies fans was not for a World Series title, it wasn't even for the playoffs, it was for meaningful games in September. Well, Rockies fans got what they wished for. This team is that and much, much more.

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  1. We may've gotten what we wished for 5 years ago, but the stakes are higher now. What this late season falter has done is to nearly eliminate Cargo's chances for a franchise first League MVP and, without the run support needed for wins, Ubaldo and the franchise's first Cy Young. When you look at it from this angle (and take into account their impressive roster), I'm afraid all there is left for 2010 is disappointment; and,oh yeah, the Sports Ill. coming true.

  2. Why are the stakes higher? There are only eight teams out of 30 in MLB that make the playoffs. You can't be in it every single year. Even the Yankees missed out in 2008 and the Red Sox will be watching from home this year. Making the playoffs two out of four years is pretty good for a franchise that is up and coming like the Rockies.

    To your point, Carlos Gonzalez wasn't going to win the NL MVP award, whether the Rockies made the playoffs or not. His home/road splits are fuel on the fire of Coors Field being a hitters park. Also, it wouldn't be the franchises first MVP, Larry Walker won it in 1997.

    Ubaldo Jimenez also wasn't going to win the Cy Young regardless of the Rockies making the playoffs or not. The media was ready to crown Roy Halladay the day that he got traded. Not to mention he has thrown a perfect game and won 21 games with better numbers than Jimenez.

  3. Franchise first M.V.P.
    I guess Larry walker doesn't count. Nice post dude. If your going to make a statement for all to read you should probably fact check. why am i so upset? Probably coming from a soccer fan. Go Rapids!

  4. What does soccer have to do w/baseball?? I agree w/the first guy--disappointing season from a team that, at least on paper, should've dominated the NL West. BTW, MVP isn't just about batting ave. and other than Votto, none of the contenders for the NL title have stellar home/road splits. So if you're basing it soley on preformance at the plate, guess he's your guy. Peronally, I wouldn't trade Cargo's near perfect fielding percentage(.950+), speed (20+ stolen bases), or clubhouse attitude for Votto's bat. Now that Helton's winding down,wouldn't mind Adrian Gonzalez in a Rockies uniform.