The Colorado Rockies looked like they were going to shift it into high gear after taking a series in San Diego, then dominating the Dodgers in the first two games of a four game set.
Unfortunately for the Rockies, they couldn't keep that momentum going. On Saturday night they played their way out of a win, and on Sunday they returned to the field to do it again.
The good news? The Rockies offense has hit it's stride. They are battling back and finding ways to get back into baseball games. Carlos Gonzalez looks like a completely different player then he did one week ago. His familiar line drives that just seem to keep carrying are back.
Todd Helton simply continues to hit. On Sunday he hit his ninth home run of the season, one more than he hit in all of 2010. Seth Smith is proving that he is not a platoon player, and that putting his name into the lineup on a daily basis is something that Jim Tracy needs to make a habit of.
The bad news is that Ubaldo Jimenez still is just a shell of the pitcher that he once was. His fastball was sitting around 91 MPH all day, and the Dodgers were not fooled. He gave up three home runs for the first time in his career, and just didn't have it. The concern for injury has to be in the back of fans minds. He doesn't have the velocity that he had a year ago, and can't get the same movement on any of his pitches.
The other bad news is that the defense looks worse than ever. In the third inning, Ty Wigginton booted a routine double play ball that led to the five Dodger runs. Wigginton is a reminder of how nice it is to have a good third baseman on the field. His glove has been far less than advertised so far in 2011.
Some people seem to be down on Jonathan Herrera. He has looked bad over the past two nights, making a poor decision on Saturday night and then going 0-for-3 at the plate on Sunday. However, in Herrera's defense, the guy did everything that it took to prove that the second base job should be his, he played his tail off, then was sat on the bench for a week and a half when Eric Young and Chris Nelson were called up. The team effectively cooled off his sharp bat.
The Rockies enter Monday looking to take another series from the Padres. These three games are big for a club who needs to not let a couple of bad losses snowball on them. They need to take two-of-three from a team who is far inferior to them and start playing consistently better baseball. That doesn't mean the pitchers need to do better, or the hitters need to do better, but that the fundamentals of all-around baseball need to be executed better. When that starts happening, the Rockies will start climbing in the standings. Until then, they will win a few here and there, but will continue to struggle.