When Jason Giambi launched a three-run walk-off homer to give the Colorado Rockies victory on Monday night, it seemed like a good point for the team to finally gain some momentum. Unfortunately, as the saying goes, momentum is only as good as the next day's starting pitcher.
After Jhoulys Chacin looked pedestrian on Tuesday night, the Rockies made the start of Aaron Cook on Wednesday night a moot point. With 11 runs of support before the start of the third inning, there are few Major League pitchers who would have a hard time keeping their team in the game.
As the Rockies batted around in the first inning, then again in the third inning, the biggest sign of encouragement about the club was that they had scored all of those runs with only one long ball, courtesy of Carlos Gonzalez in the third inning. The reality is, this Rockies offense has the fire power to bash with the best lineups in baseball. However, they are most effective when they aren't launching home runs, but rather singling and doubling the opposing pitcher to death.
It was a complete offensive game for the Rockies. It was good to see for Rockies fans, but bittersweet because it has appeared so few times so far in 2011, a season filled with so much promise.
The Colorado Rockies are not int he race, make no mistake about that. They have squandered chance after chance after chance to get back into the race. However, this team needs to start building on something positive going into the 2012 season.
Players like Dexter Fowler, who went 2-for-5 with a double, and Seth Smith, who went 2-for-3 with a walk, are examples of players who need to show that they have what it takes to be everyday players at the big league level. Smith has made great strides at the plate, but has not given Jim Tracy enough confidence in him to use him against left-handers. Fowler has become a better hitter since a month-long stint in Colorado Springs, but still has flaws in his game.
The Rockies must not quit moving forward. They must find a way to win games that at this point don't matter. This season may go down as the biggest disappointment in the history of the franchise, but the team has a chance to make a difference. They need to use the opportunity to get better and figure out how to be contributors at the Major League level.
In the meantime, watching the Rockies put up big runs makes fans wonder what might have been if only this team had cleared the mental hurdle that seems to be holding them back.