Heading out of 2004, the Braves had five pretty much league average starters. In the offseason they revamped by sloughing off two, Jaret Wright and Russ Ortiz, and replaced them by retrofitting John Smoltz from closer to starter and trading prospects to Oakland to acquire Tim Hudson. Simple enough, you take out the middle and add two potential Hall of Famers to the top.
Let's compare the Rockies. Heading out of 2004, the Rockies had four average to slightly below average starting pitchers and one potentially good one. They lost just one of the average-ish pitchers in Shawn Estes and replaced him by retrofitting Shawn Chacon. Hmm... maybe I'm beginning to see why we're not competing at the Braves' level just yet.
That's okay though, because tonight we return to our great equalizer. Hudson has faced only two current Rockies, Desi Relaford and Dustan Mohr. This might play to his advantage the first time through the lineup, but look for a big game from Todd Helton tonight nonetheless. The key for us unfortunately will be how Wright does against the Braves and particularly how deep he's able to pitch into the game. In his career Wright has been tormented by this team, six regulars have OPS's of 1.170 and above. Only Marcus Giles has struggled. If for some reason Wright is able to complete his renaissance and turn it around against a team that has plagued his career, than we will have a shot. Sounds promising to me.