With the afternoon results of the Dodgers sweeping the Reds at Cincinnati, and the D-backs taking two of three against Oakland, the Rockies are in a position where merely winning this series doesn't really help them make up any ground in the division. Due to the huge hole they've dug themselves into early, this would be the case more often than not if the rest of our division decides to play better.
In times like this I like to turn to the military philosophers for guidance. What Kaz 'Tsui's Art of Comebacks teaches us is that to comeback against strong opponents, one must "break out the brooms" when weaker opposition presents itself to take advantage of important hidden opportunities to make gains on an unsuspecting enemy.
Similarly, in reading Bigdaddio Matthollidelli's Il Pennantchasere, the author speaks frequently of how -and this is a loose translation from the original Latin- "my better needs to be better than your better," in order to maintain, and at times regain, one's power within a division. In one section, he speaks specifically of an example late one season (possibly mythical) where a band of friars that had been tormenting the division were routed by his own Coorsican armies in their own heavily fortified mission called PETCO. After this rout, the friars took to the road and beat a group of pathetically weak giants two to one. Matthollidelli claims that the only chance the Coorsicans then had to catch and vanquish the evil friars once and for all was to completely lay waste to this team of blue painted warriors in an even more thorough manner than the friars defeated the Giants. The Coorsicans did just that, and ultimately succeeded in ridding themselves of the friar threat that season.
This series seems to present a similar opportunity to the one Matthollidelli describes. Our better is better than their better. One more example, in Troy von Tulowitz's Vom Chase shows that while a win tonight might not be absolutely necessary, it sure would be nice. With my emphasis added:
The obvious answer [in deciding where to stop the pennant chase] is that superior strength is not the end but only the means. The end is either to bring the enemy to his knees or at least to deprive him of his lead - the point in that case being not to improve the current standings but to improve one's general prospects in the pennant chase and in the final standings. Even if one tries to destroy the enemy completely, one must accept the fact that every step gained may weaken one's superiority - though it does not necessarily follow that the magic number must fall to zero before the enemy capitulates. He may do so at an earlier point, and if this can be accomplished with one's last ounce of superiority, it would be a mistake not to have used it.
I think this is pretty clear what has to happen. Let's sweep these Indians and bring on the Mets.
06/19/08 7:05 PM MDT
|Cleveland Indians||Colorado Rockies|
|Grady Sizemore - CF||Willy Taveras - CF|
|Jamey Carroll - 2B||Omar Quintanilla - SS|
|Ben Francisco - LF||Matt Holliday - LF|
|Ryan Garko - 1B||Garrett Atkins - 3B|
|Jhonny Peralta - SS||Jeff Baker - 1B|
|Casey Blake - 3B||Brad Hawpe - RF|
|Franklin Gutierrez - RF||Yorvit Torrealba - C|
|Kelly Shoppach - C||Doug Bernier - 2B|
|Jeremy Sowers - P||Jorge De La Rosa - P|