After an encouraging sweep of the Atlanta Braves at home, the final win coming on a nine-run come from behind victory, the Rockies went back on the road and looked lifeless again.
Luckily, they managed to run into a win in San Francisco, which kept their hopes briefly alive. They weren't dead yet. However, the quick stop-over home game with the Phillies was a must-win. They lost 12-11. The agony of defeat wouldn't have tasted so bad had it just been a regular loss.
These Rockies, however, don't do regular.
They lost to the Phillies after giving up nine runs in the 7th inning. That's right, nine. In my mind, they were done. No way do they hop back on a plane and get into San Diego and win two-of-three on the road. Not after that crushing blow. Three days after being just 3-1/2 games back in the wild card race, the Rockies were now 6-1/2 back. They were dead in the water.
I forgot one thing. This Colorado Rockies team has no idea how to pronounce momentum, let alone tell you what it means. They can win big one day, looking like a team that should be playing late into October, then go out and look like they have no business playing professional baseball the next.
After the bitter defeat from the Phillies, the Rockies were able to ignore their road woes. Maybe they thought they were out of it too, so the pressure was gone. Maybe the Padres were mired in such a hole that it was the right place at the right time for the Rockies.
Then I remembered something. Maybe it is September.
As much fun as watching this team make runs in 2007 and 2009 was, those runs have become as much of a curse now as they were a blessing then.
This team doesn't operate on standard reality. They don't know what is normal. Most teams would look at the standings and start making October vacation plans. These Rockies shrug off the standings and do their thing. Most teams sense of urgency would have kicked in sometime around mid-August, knowing that making up seven or eight games is nearly impossible in only six weeks. These Rockies? They just wait as long as they possibly can.
It almost seems like a game. Wait until Buster Olney, Harold Reynolds, Tim Kurkjian and Mitch Williams have all declared them dead in the water...wait two more weeks, then make a mad sprint to the finish line.
These Rockies are doing it again. They are toying with the emotions of every single Rockies fan out there. One week ago season ticket holders received their information packet for purchasing post season tickets. It seemed like a joke. Now those season ticket holders are scrambling to find where they put the sheet so that they can get it in on time.
Sure, it would have been easier to win on the road all year long and show their true talent. It would have been easier to have a four or five game lead heading into September. But what is the fun in that? There is no story line that can be put into a DVD for Rockies fans archives. There is no magical story to talk about years down the road. Leading the division all season long is boring. These Rockies want to make memories.
Everyone knows the Rockies history, so everyone knows to be intimidated. For some reason in September the ace that threw a one-hitter against them earlier in the season can't get out of the 3rd inning. The hitter who owned their entire pitching staff in nearly every match up earlier in the season now looks like he can't hit. That is simply what September is all about.
The Rockies still 4-1/2 games out of first place in the National League West. They still have a huge mountain to climb to get back in it. However, if we have learned anything, it is that the Rockies aren't done until they say they are done. They are by far the most intimidating third place team in baseball.
Will the Rockies make the postseason? There will have to be many things that go their way for it to work out. However, if there is one thing certain, don't bet against it.
So admit it. I wasn't the only one. You gave up hope too. Now you, like me, are eating your words and believing once again that this team has a shot.
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