Saturday, September 11, 2010

Colorado Rockies, Tulowitzki pound Diamondbacks for 8th straight win

It doesn't matter who is on the mound when an offense puts up 13 runs.

That is what the Rockies did to the Diamondbacks in a 13-4 win that featured two more Troy Tulowitzki home runs.

The victim this time was Arizona starter Joe Saunders. The lefty was acquired from the Angels for Dan Haren in late July, and, as many Rockies fans may remember, completely dominated the same Rockies team that he faced tonight back in June.

With the Giants 1-0 win over the Padres at Petco Park, the Rockies move to within 2.5 games of the division lead.

The Rockies have suddenly erupted onto the scene. Just a week ago they were all but counted out of the race. They had lost to the Phillies in a wild 12-11 one-game makeup at Coors Field and had lost three in a row. That was the last time they lost.

The person responsible for the road to redemption would most likely be Carlos Gonzalez. He has carried the team offensively for the season. However, as he has fallen into a mini-slump, Troy Tulowitzki has picked up the slack. On Friday night he homered twice, for the second time in a game this week. His home runs came a day after hitting the tying home run against the Reds as the Rockies rallied all the way back from 5-0.

The shortstop now has eight home runs in his last nine games.

At 2.5 games out of the division race, it is scary to imagine where this team may actually be if the All-Star had not been hit by a pitch in Minnesota in June, causing him to miss six weeks of the season.

Tulowitzki is coming into his own right before fans eyes. It took him a little while to find his power stroke after the injury, but clearly it is back. Neither one of his Friday night blasts were Coors Field home runs. Those balls find the seats in any ballpark throughout the league.

After witnessing miraculous come-from-behind runs from this Rockies club in two of the past three seasons, it almost is becoming expected that this team is going to put it in fifth gear and find a way to make the playoffs in 2010.

If any team in the league can fall as far as 11 games out of the division in August, as the Rockies did, and then find themselves with a legitimate shot at winning that division, it is the Rockies. The fact is, everyone who has watched them play all year knows that they have had the potential to be the team that they are right now. They have finally hit their stride. All season long there has been a sense that they simply are not playing like the team that everyone knows that they can be. Suddenly, the Rockies have arrived.

With the Giants and Padres beating up on each other in San Diego over the weekend, continuing to play good baseball is of utmost importance for the Rockies. If they continue to win, they will keep their foot on the throats of the two teams in front of them, causing them to feel the pressure.

The real Rockies have finally shown up. They may be late to the party, but they are making sure that they don't leave without their presence felt. Whether they showed up too late or not is still to be determined, but the Rockies don't look like a team that is about to quit.

For more on the Rockies visit RockiesReview.com

This article is also featured on INDenverTimes.com



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