Saturday, June 4, 2011

Colorado Rockies win big game by the bay

Through the first few innings, the game had a similar look and feel to it. Despite a 0-0 score, the Colorado Rockies were playing as if they were going to have a tough time winning.

Jhoulys Chacin had worked his way out of two jams, but was missing with his location badly and didn't seem to be on top of his game. Couple that with the fact that Madison Bumgarner looked like he had his best stuff, facing the minimum through three innings and throwing just 27 pitches.

However, the Rockies didn't quit fighting. Leading off the fifth inning, Troy Tulowitzki hit a ball back up the middle for a single. After a Ty Wigginton flyball, Ryan Spilborghs hit a single of his own. Chris Nelson then followed with a smash up the middle that second baseman Manny Burriss fielded and threw to shortstop Brandon Crawford for the first out of a would-be double play. Crawford, however, rushed the throw, sending the ball flying into the camera well, scoring Tulowitzki.

Suddenly the Rockies had the lead, and with Chacin settling in, there was hope. The next inning, Tulowitzki came through again, pounding a two-out base hit up the middle that scored Eric Young, Jr. from second base.

The two runs was by no means something to celebrate for a struggling Rockies offense. However, the runs haven't been the problem.

While the Rockies haven't been scoring runs at the plate, the issue has been the club's swagger. In April, even when the opponent got up by a run or two, the Rockies gave the feeling that they would come back, and usually they did. In May, the opposite couldn't be more true. It seemed that as the team struggled, their confidence fell to new lows every night. When the opponent scored a run, the Rockies began to look lifeless, as if they had no chance of winning that day.

On Saturday the game had a similar feel early, but the Rockies continued to battle. They found ways to get to Bumgarner when they had the chance, and Chacin battled through his control issues to keep the club in the game.

Game's like Saturday's can be a turning point for a struggling club. For the Rockies, they need to realize that they have the talent to win games 2-1. They need to understand that even against a tough pitcher, they have the ability to scratch out a run or two and stay in the game.

The Colorado Rockies are a good team, they just need to believe that they are. They played a whole month of their season as if they were the weaker team, like if they won it would be a big surprise because they were the underdogs. Turning that page and deciding that they can be as good as they want to be is the final step that this Rockies club needs to take before they become a true contender in the National League West race.

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