Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Colorado Rockies continue to defy the odds, pick up win 22

Nolan Arenado extended his hitting streak to 27 games.
As far as the Colorado Rockies are concerned, it is April 37th.

The annual May swoon that brings the Rockies back to the reality of their talent level hasn't happened so far in 2014. In fact, it seems that the team is only getting better as the days go on.

After two convincing victories over a very good Texas Rangers team at Coors Field, the Rockies got on a plane, headed to Arlington and handed the Rangers another humiliating defeat. After a 9-2 win on Wednesday night, the Rockies have now outscored the Rangers by a combined score of 29-5 through three games.

Is it possible that the Rockies are actually this good? Dig into the statistics of the last few seasons when the Rockies fade back to reality and two things stick out. First, the pitching came back to reality. The starters couldn't sustain the start that they were giving the team. Second, the Rockies relied entirely on Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. As they went, so went the team.

So far in 2014, the Rockies are certainly getting contributions from their superstars, but there is a difference, the role players are doing their jobs well. The depth that the Rockies brought in during the offseason has quickly shown its importance.

From Brandon Barnes to Drew Stubbs to Charlie Culberson to Charlie Blackmon and Corey Dickerson, the Rockies are getting contributions from all 25 men on the roster. No one can deny how great Tulo has been. He is in the midst of a hot streak that defies the typical Major League Baseball players hot streak. When Tulowitzki gets on one of these streaks and their simply isn't words to describe it.

However, Tulo isn't the only one who has heaved the team onto his back. He is one of a cast of multiple Rockies who have had a month-and-a-half that they may never forget.

Nolan Arenado highlighted just how much he can contribute when he extended his hitting streak to a franchise record tying 27 games in the 1st inning. With two outs, the Rockies got both Tulowitzki and Gonzalez on base. Arenado, who had waited until his final at-bat on Tuesday night to extend his hitting streak, got it out of the way early on Wednesday, smacking a double down the left field line, scoring two runs and presumably giving Rangers manager Ron Washington a need for more Tums.

Blackmon, a 27-year-old who had been relegated to part-time big league duty, has been invaluable to this club. It is amazing to think that this was a guy whose roster spot was no sure thing with about a week to go in spring training. The way that he has hit has not only made his starting spot on the team look like a no-brainer, but has made Rockies fans wonder if 2013 may have been had a better result if the Blackmon would have been starting instead of Dexter Fowler.

With the Rockies offense looking like a juggernaut, it might be easy to forget the contributions that the pitching staff has made throughout the run. On Wednesday night Jorge De La Rosa continued his resurgence. Three starts into the season, many Rockies fans were ready to send De La Rosa down the river, despite the fact that he set a franchise record for lowest ERA at Coors Field while racking up 10 wins at Coors Field and 16 overall.

The Rockies lefty went six strong innings, giving up two runs on a 4th inning Adrian Beltre home run. He probably would have cruised through the 7th inning, but he had a momentary lapse in control in the 6th inning when he walked three Rangers batters. With traffic on the bases, De La Rosa was able to refocus and get Donnie Murphy to ground out to third base on a 3-2 pitch and secure his win.

The Rockies are leaning heavily on De La Rosa. With Brett Anderson and Tyler Chatwood on the shelf for two months, the success of the pitching staff is going to come down to De La Rosa continuing his stellar pitching as well as Jordan Lyles finding a way to keep up the pace on what has been a breakthrough season for him. Jhoulys Chacin will also have to find a way to hurry back to mid season form as he returns from injury.

One thing is certain, the Rockies don't seem to be fading any time soon. They are playing with confidence and they are getting major contributions from every member of their 25-man roster. They way they are playing right now is making their fans believe that this may be their year. They are helping a deprived fan base get a small taste of success.

Reality may hit for Rockies fans eventually. However, there is no reason why fans shouldn't enjoy it while it lasts.

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1 comment:

  1. Overlooked is the fact that the bullpen is much improved from the first half of April now that we replaced Bettis and Lopez with Chris Martin and Nick Massett. Now only if Brothers can regain his command and let Belisle pitch in low stress out!