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Wednesday Rockpile: Rockies, Please Win These Next Two Games, If It's Not Too Much Trouble

Well, the Rockies lost one they'd like to have back last night to the Pirates, executing poorly in all facets of the game. Wonderboy Jhoulys Chacin wasn't so wondrous in his first start, seldom finding the plate (he walked six) in his 2.1 IP (in all the Rockies walked nine Pirates) while Colorado committed three errors.

Fortunately, the Rockies remained in the wild card lead thanks to a loss by the Giants, though as a result they fell 6.5 games behind the Dodgers. Colorado really needs to win the final two games in the series--if nothing else simply because if they are a playoff team they have no business losing a home series to a glorified AAA team. 

Pittsburgh won't provide much opposition if the Rockies just play fundamentally sound baseball and receive quality starts from Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Marquis.

Fowler, Francis Injury Updates

Dexter Fowler underwent a precautionary MRI last night on his bruised left knee. Fowler should be back in the lineup against lefty Paul Maholm on Thursday afternoon.

Meanwhile, there was news on the Jeff Francis front. The lefty, probably out for the season after surgery to repair a torn labrum, threw a 15 pitch bullpen session and felt good afterwards. According to the article, there remains a small possibility that Francis could be ready by the end of the year, but I wouldn't buy it. Francis is a long way from facing hitters again, and I'm not sure that I'd want Francis making his debut in October. Nevertheless, this is a nice development for the Rockies, especially since very few pitchers ever come back from labrum surgery.

Helton Links

This was already posted in yesterday's Rockpile comments and in amoeba's FanShot, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN has an excellent article about the Toddfather and his resurgence this year.

As I linked to in a FanShot yesterday, here are two articles, one by BP's Jay Jaffe (Insider required) and by Dave Marincic of NL Central Stage that debate Helton's Hall of Fame credentials quite thoroughly. The fan in me definitely wants to see Todd Helton in the Hall, though my inner sabermetrician doesn't know if he deserves to be there yet.

Meanwhile, ESPN's Rob Neyer gives Helton his due--sort of. At least he rights a wrong.

Finally, here's a story (and video) about Helton's strange catch last night.

Other Links

Huston Street was bothered by his rough outing Monday, which Rockies fans all hope was an anomaly and not an evil omen of things to come.

Troy Tulowitzki is settling into the cleanup spot nicely, hitting 12-for-38 (.316) with two homers in that slot. Tulowitzki creates matchup problems for managers because he splits up the big H lefties in the Rockies lineup. Well, that and he's been scary good of late.

The Rockies are 8th in CBS' Power Rankings.