"I thought I signed on with a playoff team."
As of today, the Rockies have played 81 games on their schedule, thereby concluding the first 50% of their games. As currently situated, Colorado is as mediocre as any team in the league: 3rd place in a 5 team division, 3rd highest run differential in the division at a very mediocre +2, a mediocre 20-20 home record. It's as middling as it gets.
Colorado has been within two games of .500 every day in the last two weeks, with an even record not further than four games since May 9. The 2011 Colorado Rockies have been wallowing in mediocrity for most of the season, which, I suppose, is better than wallowing in misery. Meanwhile, a seven game win streak from the Giants has pushed the Rockies to a season-high 6.5 games behind in the NL West.
According to the Gillette Fan Confidence Poll (below), fans have slowly started to believe in the Rockies again after hitting rock bottom in May. But believe in what, really? What to make of the Rockies thus far has been a constant topic of conversation at Purple Row and beyond, and it seems even most of the ardent supporters are wielding just one weapon of optimism: they could go on a run (they have before), and maybe they will even with sparse evidence to predict it. Are there any other reasons for optimism? Maybe:
- Carlos Gonzalez is starting to heat up, but Monday aside, his power has been much less than he will likely produce going forward.
- Troy Tulowitzki has been a better second half player four years running
- Ubaldo Jimenez is very very slowly starting to gain confidence and come back to strong form.
- NL West is weak. Arizona is a nice story, but worst-to-firsts rarely manifest completely after 162 games. The Giants' offense is a mess, and if a starting pitcher struggles or gets injured, they are well within reach.
- Trade Deadline - If they manage to do well in the next three weeks, Dan O'Dowd might be coaxed into improving the roster via trade.
- First Half = First Half - "There is still a lot of baseball left to be played"