NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23: Carlos Gonzalez #5 and Tyler Colvin #21 of the Colorado Rockies celebrate after defeating the New York Mets at Citi Field on August 23, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
After Thursday's game, the Rockies are sitting at a nice and tidy 13-9 on the month of August, making August the team's best month since April, when they went all of 11-11. They remain the 3rd worst team in MLB, ahead of the absolutely terrible Astros and the Chicago Cubs, who they will be traveling to meet this weekend.
Traditionally speaking, April has been the Achilles' heel for Colorado. As they say, you can't win the season in April, but you certainly can lose it. Treading water at .500 entering the month of May seemed to be a very positive sign for Colorado, as getting to the middle of August while still competitive can be a setup for the Rockies to have one of their patented late-season runs.
Well, 2012 has been almost comically bad, as we all know, but to add to the humor, the Rockies have been playing very decent baseball as of late, as I'm sure you've been watching. They've won 5 straight, beaten the Dodgers at home, swept the Brewers, swept the Mets, and are now going to face one of 2 teams actually worse than us.
The big stories this season have been about the disappointments across MLB, as well as the surprises (especially those of the feel-good variety). The surprises have been Washington being as good as they are and Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Oakland all near the top of their respective Wild Card chases, amongst other things like Mike Trout and such. The disappointments have been embodied in teams like Milwaukee, Philadelphia, and Boston all playing very poor baseball. So when we look back at the past 2 weeks, it's very easy to simply eschew the Rockies' success because it has been against teams who have been very disappointing.
Rockies fans: don't let yourselves fall into that trap. It's very hard to forget the play we saw in June and some of the atrocities endured in the form of a baseball game. The Rockies, despite the recent ascent, are still the 3rd worst team in baseball. That means that the Rockies are, in fact, beating better teams.
The objective viewpoint is that the other teams are on a downturn, and the Rockies are finally growing into themselves a bit more. But why should we discount good play just because other teams are playing poorly? Had a fly ball gone over the head of Charlie Blackmon or had Matt Belisle been 0.2 seconds late to touch the bag ahead of Jordany Valdespin or not been able to buckle Ryan Braun in a clutch moment or had Michael Cuddyer not hit that go-ahead home run against Miami, the Rockies wouldn't be where they are (in the scope of August, anyhow), and we'd just be chalking up more Rockies losses to bad play.
Let's give our team some credit. Too often, we're willing to hang losses on the Rockies but forget that there are two sides to that coin. Some wins are handed to the team, but all of them? Nah. This has been good baseball. Taking advantage of opponent blunders is part of playing good baseball.
Best part of this? They've been playing this well with Carlos Gonzalez in an unsightly slump, Todd Helton out for the season, possibly Cuddyer as well, and we're basically trotting out an Age-28-or-younger lineup every day. If a lot of this success is due to elements like hard work, that's enough to get me excited about the future of this team.