Friday, July 6, 2012

Colorado Rockies show off talent that had fans believing in April

Drew Pomeranz was incredible on Friday night.
There is no way that this Colorado Rockies team should lose 100 baseball games.

Rockies fans got a break from negativity on Friday night as the team put on an exhibit showing why they should be closer to the top of the standings than the bottom. The spotlight for Friday night's game was supposed to be on a young pitcher and a young hitter, but going into the game, it was supposed to be a young pitcher and hitter from the Washington Nationals.

Instead, the Rockies stole the stage. Drew Pomeranz was simply phenomenal. He gave a glimpse into the level of talent he possesses and the mentality that he brings to the mound. His 6-1/3 innings of one-hit baseball was enough to show that he was probably left for far too long in Colorado Springs.

Pomeranz struck out six and walked two. It took him just 81 pitches to get through 6-1/3 innings. For those fans looking for hope coming from any avenue from the Rockies, Pomeranz brought that with his start on Friday night.

The 23-year-old would have been the whole story of the night, but an emerging star with the Rockies took shared the duties of hero with Pomeranz. Tyler Colvin, the hottest Rockies hitter, continues to make believers out of everyone who thought his 20 home runs as a rookie in Chicago was a fluke.

Colvin went deep not once, but twice off of Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg. The first home run came on an 0-2 pitch that Colvin turned on, lining the ball into the second deck of seats in right field. He has now hit five home runs in the past five days. In addition to the two home runs, Colvin also picked up another base hit, raising his batting average to a stellar .311. He has 13 home runs and 40 RBIs in a limited roll.

It is almost weird to see Colvin dominating at the plate. He is a guy who was a part of the Ian Stewart trade, and many experts thought that the Cubs got the better end of the deal. He put up a great rookie year in 2010, but then fell off the map in 2011, prompting the trade.

Coming to Colorado figured to help the outfielder, but no one thought that he would suddenly be pushing Todd Helton for playing time. If Dan O'Dowd would have known that Colvin would hit 13 home runs all season he would have been thrilled, let alone 13 before the All-Star break.

The fact is, Colvin has to play. If his playing time comes at the expense of Helton, then so be it. The Rockies have half of a season left to figure out if this is simply a fluke, or if Colvin is coming into his own and becoming a very good baseball player. The Rockies have him under their control for three more seasons, however, tough decisions cannot be made with a small sample size. The Rockies need to give Colvin more time to find out who they really have in him.

Pomeranz and Colvin are two very bright spots in a horribly dark season for the Rockies. Pomeranz is proving that his mental toughness is what the Rockies had expected when they traded for him. Based on recent reports, the big lefty quit listening to the organization, which was trying to tinker with his mechanics and simply started to fire the ball again without racking his brain over every little detail of his motion. Once he did that, he became the pitcher that was drafted 5th overall in 2010. 

The amazing thing is, as bad as this Colorado Rockies team has been, they really aren't all that far off from success. The lineup is not a problem, as evidenced by them beating Strasburg for the second time in the season, the problem is starting pitching.

Take a look at the talent the Rockies have and there is no reason to think that these starting pitchers can't at least keep the team competitive in 2013. Pomeranz, a healthy Jhoulys Chacin, Juan Nicasio, Alex White, and Christian Friedrich have all shown signs of being well above average Major League pitchers. If they are able to get Coors Field out of their heads, despite management drilling it in, they are good enough to keep the Rockies in games long enough for their offense to show up.

Those five names don't even include Jorge De La Rosa, who could make an impact if he is healthy again following his Tommy John surgery.

To see Pomeranz deliver on the mound, and Colvin light up the baseball against Strasburg is a positive sign for Rockies fans looking for something to hold on to and root for.

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