It's funny how a 10-game winning streak that suddenly puts the team right back into the thick of contention can turn everything around. 2 months ago, the team was incomplete, lacking that special something, needed to start parting itself out (which in all fairness, we sorta did), and the season looked completely gone.
Next thing you know, the Rockies catch fire, the Padres go into free-fall, and the NL West might be the most exciting playoff chase in September, with 3 teams legitimately in contention to win the division. Hell, the NL Wild Card might still be in play for the NL West as well.
So what changed? What magic did we harness? Was it the addition of Manny Delcarmen? Was it the parting of ways with Brad Hawpe? Was it the addition of all these September role-players? Obviously, we can put Carlos Gonzalez getting hot as the fires of Hades at the top of the list as well as Troy Tulowitzki hitting home runs like they owed him money, but what about the rest of the team? I've seen Tulo have some bad games the past week or two, Cargo sat out a night with a sore wrist, and we've still won 10 straight.
But there's something else happening with the offense, because we're not just winning: we're inexplicably winning some of these games. Sure, we've had some blowouts, but we've also had some absurd comebacks and some eked out wins that probably should have been losses.
Take a look at Spilly's PH "double" in the 8th: that gets caught if you roll back the situation to May. Which is basically what we're seeing right now, the hits are finally falling.
This isn't meant to be an "I told you so" by any stretch, but it's one of the things that anyone watching baseball for a good long while will tell you: that sometimes the hits fall, sometimes they find gloves; it all evens out in the end.
Boy I'm glad they're falling now. If you look back at offensive numbers from, let's say May, you'll note that the Rockies were posting a .286 BABIP, which isn't all that awful in itself, but when it was 24th in the majors, you know that a lot of hits weren't falling. Compare that to September's numbers (which is a small sample, but it's what we're watching right now, it's happening, and it's happening when it needs to), where the Rockies are leading the majors in BABIP with a .358 tally in that category. The .390 wOBA isn't hurting things either. Colorado is leading the majors in a couple of offensive categories, the NL in a couple more, and are top-5 in a few more than that (in September, anyhow). Perfect timing.
Oh, and the pitching has been pretty outstanding as well. As if I really needed to say it.
So with some continued luck and awesomeness, this could be something amazing. Again. Keep your eyes peeled, because something October this way comes.
Nowak also discusses Chris Iannetta (who is 5-for-his-last-17 with 2 bombs) being out temporarily with a calf strain. Doesn't seem to be serious, but as has been pointed out by other commenters, it's an awful time for him to get hurt.
Miguel Olivo is posting a .313/.313/.500 line in September (not counting his 0-3, BB on Sunday). Good to see him finding his stroke again.
Jim Tracy is pleased with Seth Smith and his production at the plate. He's probably going to end up a platoon player for reals (you know, assuming we can find a corner OF who can actually hit LHP consistently), but Tracy still thinks that Smith has it in him to be a .300 hitter that can spray hits to all fields.
Finally, some discussion about the Rockies in September! Seriously though, Nowak gives a breakdown on the month of September, start-by-start, and discusses the team's success the past several years leading up to the postseason.