Winning on the road takes good pitching, good defense, timely hitting, and a little bit of luck. Colorado could not bring these ingredients together while North of the border and hopefully a return to home soil will get them back to winning ways. With 23 games to go until the All-Star break (and possibly Tulo's return), here is what the Rockies need to have happen to stay relevant:
- Pitching and defense must be stellar on the road. Always a common theme, but with the lineup putting out two to three runs a game, the pitchers can no longer rely on winning when they hold the team to four or five runs. A good Roy Oswalt will help, but Jhoulys Chacin returning to form and Tyler Chatwood's health are even more important, and more probable.
- Some good home cooking. The Rockies only have seven home games until the break and six of them are against division foes. They must take advantage of when they are at their home park.
- A little luck on the road. Again, good pitching and defense provides the opportunity for "luck." Winning two or three on this road trip would be good, but the divisional road trip to close out the first part of the season will be key to how the second part plays out. Playing in San Diego, Arizona, and Los Angeles gives the Rockies a great opportunity but also is high risk. Steal a series from San Diego, or better yet Arizona, while winning against LA will give the Rockies a good chance of being in the thick of things. Get swept twice on the trip and things will get a lot tougher.
This team has been resilient and streaky throughout the season. They have had several three game losing streaks but have found ways to turn it around. It starts Thursday night in Washington, as the Rockies have only had one four game losing streak and need to gain confidence while not matching or exceeding this feat.
Its Roy Oswalt day today for the Rockies, time to find out if he will turn out to be a good investment.
Unfortunately with Oswalt coming up, it is time once again to say goodbye to Jeff Francis, at least for now.
Not only is it Roy Oswalt day, but Grand Junction opens their season so, maybe more important to the future, it is Jonathan Gray day. I am not completely certain that he will get the start today as I couldn't find anything to confirm it.
After a trade that promises to bring, "new life to Eric Young," he went one for four as he led off and played center field in the Mets 3-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Not sure what the New York fascination is with former Rockies, but the Mets gave Colorado twenty-six year old pitcher Colin McHugh who has made five career big league starts and was traded to the Rockies on his birthday.
I would to wish EY Jr and Jeff Francis, wherever he ends up, good luck in their new places as long as they are not playing the Rockies. It is a good thing that this team can call up better players and that the talent they have to release is valued by other teams. This has not always been the case.