Well, it was nice while it lasted. As Chaucer might have said, all good things must come to an end.
Last night the Rays ended the Rockies' franchise record-tying 11 game winning streak forcefully, pounding out 12 extra base hits off of a staff that seemed to lose its touch against a potent lineup. Nick Zaccardi believes that it was Ian Stewart's missed pop-up in the second that was the catalyst for disaster, while Troy Renck eulogizes the streak.
Dave Krieger, meanwhile, hopes this streak marks an end to Colorado's bad habits.
What we have here is a remake of the old television game show "To Tell the Truth." Will the real Rocks please stand up?
Are they the outfit that went 20-32 through June 3? The group that's gone 11-1 since? Something in between?
The question posed here is certainly a valid one--the fact that during the streak the Rockies finally performed up to their potential doesn't negate their horrible execution during the first two months of the season. As Krieger says though, this streak has given the Rockies the means to at least be competitive in the division and the wild card.
With the loss the Rockies fell to two games below .500 and 3.5 games back in the Wild Card standings and their BP playoff odds decreased by 4.2%. The Rockies haven't been at .500 since April 15th, when they were 4-4. Steve Foster writes some Quick Hits about the streak-breaker. Now let us never speak of that game again.
Greg Smith threw a four-inning simulated game yesterday, an encouraging sign for the rotation's pitching depth. Were one of our starters to be injured, it is likely that a healthy Smith would get the call. Franklin Morales was brilliant yesterday, but his inconsistency in his minor league stint has been jarring.
Finally, for those of you who read power rankings, Fox Sports' rankings have the Rockies moving up 12 slots to 13--and it mentions the fact that the Rockies had a ridiculously tough first month.
This rapid uptick underscores the fact that the Rockies were woefully underrated by the national media until this streak, considering their peripherals and schedule. If you buy into the recent-performance bit of power rankings, I think the Rockies are placed just about right.
Of course, in my opinion power rankings are quintessential filler--though those tied to a statistical formula (like Baseball Prospectus' Hit List) are more useful than others.