|Michael Cuddyer deserves an All-Star appearance.|
The baseball team that formerly looked like a contender ended a nine-game, three-city road trip on Wednesday after winning just two of the nine games in which they played. They now sit one game below .500.
Roy Oswalt, hailed as a hero to a struggling rotation, had his second consecutive less-than-impressive outing for the Rockies. It is early, and far too small of a sample size to make judgments from, but the veteran righty hasn't provided the boost that the Rockies have needed. With some definite signs of the old Oswalt, there is hope, but on Wednesday the results weren't there.
The Rockies didn't get enough offense to win on Wednesday, scoring just three runs on nine hits. It wasn't good enough to beat the Red Sox, who scored five early runs on Oswalt in the first three innings, then were shutout the rest of the way. It was enough, however, as the Sox completed the mini-sweep.
It is easy to point out the Rockies struggles. Every facet of the game is in a tailspin at this point. The starting pitchers haven't given enough length, which has made the bullpen wear thin. When the bullpen is good, the offense only scores three runs. It is becoming a serious problem.
However, from a positive standpoint, Michael Cuddyer continues to push the envelope for a spot on the National League All-Star team in New York. A week ago, Cuddyer had an outside shot at the game. After his performance on Wednesday, it would be a crime not to include him.
In a terrible road trip for the Rockies, Cuddyer stayed hot. On Wednesday he pushed his hitting streak to 23 games, a tie for the club record with his hitting coach, Dante Bichette. Most long hitting streaks include a few pieces of good luck, Cuddyer continues to crush the ball. On Wednesday continued the streak by launching not one but two home runs well over the green monster in left field.
The right fielder is suddenly hitting .344. He has 13 home runs and 45 RBIs.
Ironically, Cuddyer has received little credit for what he has accomplished. He has completed more than half of the feat while Troy Tulowitzki has been out with a broken rib. Someone has had to step up and help fill the gap. While it has become clear that the Rockies aren't the same without Tulo, don't blame Cuddyer for not doing what he can do.
The Rockies are in a tailspin. They desperately need to find their bats upon return to Coors Field. They need to get a good night sleep in their own beds and do whatever they can to get some runs on the board and gain some momentum before the Giants come to town over the weekend, followed by the Dodgers over the holiday. Despite the bad record, Los Angeles is playing far better of late. The addition of Yasiel Puig has given them a boost. They may not be contenders, but they can't be written off.
The crazy thing is that despite a 2-7 road trip, the Rockies are just three games behind the Diamondbacks in the National League West race. The disappointing part of that is that if the Rockies had found a way to win three more games on the road trip, something they easily could have done, they would be in a dead heat with the Diamondbacks.
The good news is, the Rockies are coming home. They are withing striking distance and they have seven games in the Mile High City before they go back on the road.
Coors Field may have never looked so good.
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