Before we get into tonight's game, I just thought I'd remind all us Rockies fans that it wasn't the first month of the season that proved our undoing last year, but the second. After April, the Rockies were six and eighteen and only three and a half games behind the eventual division champs, the Padres. However, May came around and the Padres went on a 22-6 tear while the Rockies went 9-21. The gap between the teams at the end of the month was the largest it would get that season at 17 1/2 games. Why I bring that up isn't to say that it's a long season and the rest of the division still has plenty of time to take it to us,
Rox Girl says it's time to bury the competition
no, why I bring it up is because the Padres were mediocre to bad the rest of the way in 2005. They just buried the NL West in May and slacked off the rest of the year because they could afford to. I'm saying that we should be that team this year. Now's the time the Rockies should be demoralizing the other teams of the division, and coming in on the road and blowing out a limping Braves team might be a good way to start sending Alpha Male/Queen Bee signals to the rest of the West that the Rockies are the dominant force. Our division champion was decided in May last season, there's no way around that fact. To be sure, a couple of times during the rest of the season the Dodgers or Giants or D-backs would make a faint attempt at unseating the Pods, but all San Diego had to do was point to that May record like it was a trophy set of antlers and the pretenders would back down. Okay maybe that's not why they backed down, but really, this is as good a time as any to turn on the jets and create some separation for the long season ahead.
Alright, enough sermonizing about tonight's game:
Colorado goes into Turner Field with a 14-20 franchise mark, with the 0-6 run we had in 2003 and 2004 being our biggest blight. Despite the timeframe of that losing streak coinciding with Jason Jenning's career very well, he hasn't pitched in Turner Field since August 18, 2002, a six to three Rockies victory in which Larry Walker cranked two homers late, one in the top of the seventh inning off Greg Maddux to give the Rockies a three to two lead (Jay Payton would hit another solo shot later that inning), and a two run shot in the ninth off Kerry Ligtenburg for insurance.
For the Braves, Tim Hudson pitched in last year's twelve to three Braves win, where Marcus Giles jacked two of his own - off Aaron Cook and Marcos Carvajal. It should be an interesting matchup tonight. Atlanta's not hitting the ball well, but JJ's coming off his roughest start of the season last week in Philly. Hudson's lost some velocity this year, but has fooled Colorado's hitters in the past. In other words, it could go either way: blow up for one team or both, or low scoring pitchers duel. I think you know by now where my loyalties lie, so I say tonight's a big Rockies win.