Thursday, September 9, 2010

Colorado Rockies steal sweep of Reds

Chris Nelson has been known as the shortstop that the Rockies drafted the year before Troy Tulowitzki. He had been a career minor-leaguer, battling injuries most of the way through his journey.

After Thursday, Nelson will be known for more than his minor league career.

In the 8th inning, after the Rockies had tied the game at five, Nelson came in to pinch-run for Jason Giambi, who had walked.

Melvin Mora got Nelson to third base on a hit-and-run, and that is when Nelson decided to change what he was known for.

With Miguel Olivo at the plate and the infield in, Nelson took off from third base. He slid to the plate safely, giving the Rockies a 6-5 lead that they would not relinquish.

At this point, there shouldn't be any story lines left for the Rockies and September.

This team simply continues to find new ways to win. It is almost as if they purposely drop games in the early part of the season so that they can find a new way to make a run late in the season. Obviously, that is not the case, but it seems like it.

There has to be an answer for why the Rockies play with such heart in September, but seem so average the rest of the season. In 2009, it was a little bit of a different story. They were already leading the wild card race heading into the month, but were pressing forward in hopes of catching the Dodgers, who eventually won the division on the second-to-last day of the season.

The Rockies are currently four games out of first place in the National League West pending the outcome of the Padres and Giants game, who start a four-game set tonight at Petco Park. They gain a half game in the wild card race as well, but that race seems to be an after thought for this club.

It is easy to start looking at the scoreboard. However, there is still enough baseball left in the season that the Rockies don't need anyone else's help. This club simply needs to continue winning. Their current winning streak is at seven with the four-game sweep of the Reds. If they can manage to continue winning and take two-of-three from the Diamondbacks, they will be guaranteed to have gained games on the teams in front of them.

The best case scenario for the Rockies is for the Padres and Giants to simply beat up on each other. If they split the series in San Diego, and the Rockies continue to win, they will be within striking distance of either team with three games left at Coors Field against each of them.

The key, however, is to not overlook the teams in which the Rockies are playing. The Diamondbacks may be the last place team in the National League West, but they still have a power-packed lineup and are very capable of beating the Rockies.

The win came courtesy of a rookie swiping home improbably. However, the win came as the Rockies came from behind for the third time in the series. On Monday, the team erased a 4-0 deficit to win, on Thursday the Rockies outdid themselves, coming back from 5-0. Jason Giambi started the scoring with a two-run bomb to center field. After Carlos Gonzalez hit into a double play to end a bases-loaded threat in the 7th, the Rockies looked like they might fall short.

Instead, Troy Tulowitzki decided to take matters into his own hands, drilling an opposite-field, lead off home run in the 8th. That got things going in the inning, leading to Nelson's daring decision.

The Rockies are the cardiac kids, there is no doubt about that. However, if the Broncos were hoping for some of their fans back, they are going to have to wait another couple of weeks for the Rockies to show what they are going to do.

Regardless, the Rockies are making things fun. It will be interesting to see if they can pull this thing off.

For more on the Rockies visit RockiesReview.com

This article is also featured on INDenverTimes.com

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