Terry Frei has made a realization. The Rockies aren't the losers. No, it's you and me, Rockies fans that are losers. That or we're old, decrepit and in nursing homes, but apparently with enough memory left to reserve for Tulo's Modesto and Tulsa batting averages. Really, why people still subscribe to this newspaper -and I've almost convinced my own parents to stop just based on the Rockies coverage alone- is beyond me.
Okay, so onto Arizona, whose fans and maybe the team itself are pleased as punch that Vegas is still allowing them to play up the underappreciated underdog angle, as like the Rockies, they've used it all season long as an inspiring chip on their shoulder. Alright, in fairness, the Rockies only used it from about the end of May on as inspiration, while the D-backs have seemingly done it from the start, but it was enough for both teams to get to this point. While the Rockies perhaps now have to slip on the uncomfortable shoe of media faves, don't let that lull you. At the end of the day, both these teams have some very deep talent, and even the more marginal players like Augie Ojeda and Yorvit Torrealba have shown of late that they shouldn't be overlooked.
That said, these teams did take different paths to get here, and I think this shows why Arizona is doubted by the MSM. During the regular season, the Diamondbacks had great success against teams like the Nationals, Marlins, Astros and Orioles, going 22-5 against them with double digit run differentials against each. They were steamrolling teams that the Rockies struggled to get over .500 against, as Colorado went 14-13 against that same group.
When pitted against the heavyweights of the East Coast, and the teams the media follow the most, the Yankees, Red Sox and Mets, the Diamondbacks went four and nine and were outscored 37-63. They went four and two against the Braves, but were outscored, and five and one against the Phillies but only outscored the Phils by four runs. The Rockies, on the other hand, went nine and three against the New York teams and Boston, outscoring them 80-35. They went two and four against the Braves but were even in run differential, and four and three against the Phillies, but outscored them 46-37. Does this make the Rockies the better team? I don't know; an argument can be made that if the Rockies were that good, they would have taken care of the bottom of the league as well as the top, but it does make it obvious why the national media outside the capital district would respect us more.
All of that doesn't matter now, of course. These two teams know each other extremely well, and both know exactly how to exploit the other's weaknesses and even if one team is better than the other, it could easily go either way. I think anybody who is making a call on this series is fishing and hoping to get lucky.
Aaron Cook could be back for Game Four, if things go well in a Wednesday Arizona Fall League appearance and Jason Hirsh might be available out of the bullpen. Will this tip the scales in our favor? Number one, it means we might not have to hold our breath and cross our fingers through another Mark Redman start, and that's a good thing, so I certainly can't see how it would hurt.