Sunday, September 12, 2010

Colorado Rockies winning streak hits 10

No one will ever count out the Colorado Rockies again.

After laying in their death bed on September 2nd, the Rockies are now looking like Olympic athletes sprinting towards October.

On Sunday, the Rockies did it again. After looking like their winning streak was going to come to an end, the club decided to find a new way to crawl back into the game. This time, grizzly veteran Jason Giambi showed just how strong he is. He launched a 1-1 pitch over the center field wall with one man on base to give the Rockies the walk off win.

The pitch that Giambi hit was no more than eight inches off of the ground and seemed like it should get to the warning track, no further. However, the ball continued to carry into the bleachers, setting the 41,504 fans into celebration.

This is exactly why Giambi was brought back in the offseason. His pure strength allows him to take normal fly balls and turn them into home runs. His acute knowledge of the strike zone allows him to take good at bats whenever he strides to the plate. His veteran status allows him to whisper pointers into younger players ears.

The fact is, for the Rockies, it seems to be someone new every day. One night it is 150 lbs. utility infielder Jonathan Herrera muscling a sacrifice fly to center field, the next day it is 240 lbs. Jason Giambi jacking a ball over the fence.

The Rockies are finally hitting their stride. After a season of futility, this club has decided that it is time to play some baseball. It is almost frustrating. If they had played anywhere near the level that they are currently playing for the first 4-1/2 months of the season, they would be leading the division by seven games. Instead, they have gone on a huge winning streak and still have 1.5 games to go.

For the Rockies, as good as this run has been, this winning streak has to be the beginning. Winning 10 games in a row only allows them to be in a good position for the stretch run. If they head into a three game set with the Padres and slow down, they could easily be on the outside looking in. The Rockies do not have to win every single game. However, they have put themselves in a position where they cannot afford to lose series against the teams that are in front of them.

As much work as there is left to do for the Rockies, things are looking very good for them. Even if the Giants continue to play well, the Rockies may be able to sneak into the playoffs as the wild card. The Padres, as good as they have been all season long, seem to be feeling the effects of a young pitching staff. On the other coast, the Braves have a tough schedule ahead of them and also seem to be struggling at the exact wrong time.

In addition to the Braves faltering, they also have to face off with the Phillies six more times, something that should play well into the Rockies favor.

If the Rockies can play better than both the Padres and the Braves the rest of the way, they will still find themselves in the playoffs.

There is one thing certain, the Rockies have played their way back into the race. They have a chance to take a series from the Padres at Coors Field and climb within at least a half game from second place in the division.

While winning 10 in a row has been great for the Rockies, they must not let up now. They are in desperate need of a series win against the Padres. If they can get it, they will be in good shape. Dropping two of three will make the mountain even a little tougher to climb.

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