Well, back to ten games below .500. I was really hoping that the Rox would be able to reel off six straight against the Dodgers and Astros before embarking on their next road trip, but such is not the case. But hey, a 7-2 homestand is still possible, right? Well, with five games left on the homestand and the entire rotation (Esmil Rogers, Kevin Millwood, Jhoulys Chacin, Aaron Cook, Jason Hammel) slated to pitch, I'd say those odds are pretty long. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if the Rox went 2-3 or 1-4 to close out the homestand and put them closer to the cellar. Or, they could just get our hopes up like they always do.
At least there are a few positives, though. Last weekend, I wrote about how sneaky of an MVP-caliber season that Troy Tulowitzki is having. Considering his struggles from mid-April to mid-June, I was shocked to see what his numbers looked like after the autopilot switch was turned off. At any rate, the Tulo WAR watch continues, and he currently sits at 6.2 - close to eclipsing his career-high 2010 number (6.6). That figure ranks him, along with a small handful of other players, above the ENTIRE Seattle Mariners team (h/t CantPredictBall). The Mariners are led by Brendan Ryan (2.5 WAR), and (speaking of digging a positive from a boatful of negatives) Dustin Ackley, who has been with the team for less than two months, is nipping at his heels at 2.3. Everybody else is terrible, as the team's combined WAR is...drumroll...5.3! Terrific.
In addition, the team's other star player, Carlos Gonzalez (who would rank at the top of Seattle's WAR leaderboard), has somewhat-quietly increased his slash line to .288/.357.509 and is well on his way to becoming his old self. As many skeptics pointed out, his BABIP has decreased dramatically, but lucky for us that's probably the main factor in why his overall numbers have dropped. No other areas of CarGo's offensive game have suffered; his walk rate is up and his strikeout rate is down.
Those, added with the fact that our now-38-year-old first baseman (Happy Birthday, Todd Helton!) is still raking, give us some things to hold our heads high about. Plus, how about those kids the Rox got from Cleveland?
Sure, it's not always going to be fun watching our pitching presumably get lit up down the stretch. But, if you keep an eye on the guys who are truly going to be a part of this team going forward, and continue to marvel at our aging first-sackers, you might find the final month-plus of 2011 fairly enjoyable.
Here's to a fun finish.