Monday Rockpile: Jason Marquis and Ubaldo Jimenez fueling stretch run; Gonzalez could be back Wednesday

Rockies silent assasins getting the job done

The Rockies current one-two punch of Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Marquis isn't glamorous, we aren't getting any Cy Young consideration at Colorado. What it is would be dominant. The Rockies in August are 8-1 in the starts of the two, today Marquis looks to make us nine for ten 

Add in the 3-1 record the team has in Jorge De La Rosa starts (albeit admittedly he's had two great starts and two bad ones) and it's no wonder the team continues to surge through the dog days. The Rockies better continue this trend for the month's final seven days if they know what's good for them.

Denver Post

Not beating themselves is part of what's separating the Rockies from the Giants and other teams right now. Let this be a lesson in keeping a tight ship.

Tim Lincecum gets unnerved by the Coors Field radar readings. Attacking his ego seems to be a pretty effective strategy.

Carlos Gonzalez could be back sooner than we feared

The initial reports of Gonzalez hand injury had said it might be a week before he'd return to action, now it looks like he could very well be back by Wednesday, or possibly even Tuesday, Jack Etkin reports:

Other links:

As of this morning, the Rockies playoff odds range from around the 63% showing up at coolstandings.com and Baseball Prospectus' PECOTA adjusted odds report, to the 73% to 74% odds shown in BP's ELO adjusted report and at SportsClubStats (site was down while I'm writing this, you'll just have to trust me until it comes back up). Those are pretty solid and fairly convincing. Pragmatic fans of the Cubs and Marlins are jumping ship on their chances this year, making the NL Wild Card look like a three team chase at the moment between the Rockies, Giants and Braves. With hindsight, the latter two teams let the Rockies come back to take four key games at Coors Field that might have changed the complexion of this race if they had been able to lock down wins:

July 9, 2009 Atlanta Braves at Colorado Rockies Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com

The first of four games with Atlanta before the All-Star break, the Rockies pushed Braves starter Tommy Hanson out after just five innings. Getting four innings of bullpen caliber pitching allowed the team to outscore Atlanta 3-1 in the last part of the game after being outscored 5-4 in the first half.

July 12, 2009 Atlanta Braves at Colorado Rockies Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com

This was the last game before the All-Star break, and Atlanta could still have put a serious dent in the Rockies confidence by winning three of four against them at Coors Field. Racing to a seven to three lead over Jason Hammel, they appeared to be on their way, instead a dramatic reversal in the latter stages of the game allowed the Rockies to come back and win it on a walk-off double by Brad Hawpe.

August 22, 2009 San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com

August 23, 2009 San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies Box Score and Play by Play - Baseball-Reference.com

These two are a bit different in that the Rockies made either all or a good chunk of their comebacks against the opposing starter rather than relievers, but the team's plate discipline again played a huge role in making the reversals. By wearing down Giants starters Joe Martinez and Tim Lincecum, the Rockies gradually exposed the cracks that allowed them to break through and win.

The season would look vastly different right now if the Giants or Braves were somehow able to split these four contests let alone win them, as it is though, a failure to protect their leads in those games has put both teams under enormous pressure to make up the lost ground.

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