Two weeks ago, when the Rockies pulled one game ahead of the Giants, I predicted that the Rockies would never again even be tied for the wildcard lead. And you know what? I'm still not worried about that prediction coming true, even after the Giants pulled within 2.5 games of the Rockies last night. Heck, EVEN IF the Rockies were to lose tonight I still would not be worried, as the Rockies still control their own destiny for the playoffs and the Giants have to go to LA after this series.
Jim Tracy seems to echo my thoughts in Thomas Harding's article:
"If we would have stepped into this pothole that we're in right now trailing by three [games], how bad do you think the situation would be for us?" Tracy said. "Adios. We stepped into a little bit of a pothole and we have a 2 1/2-game lead. It gives you an indication as to what we've been up to over the course of the last four months.
"We've allowed ourselves the opportunity to have something like this occur. Anything, in my opinion, in this world that you want really badly, it doesn't come easy. It's that much more rewarding if you're able to get it."
Meanwhile, the Denver Post has taken the more pessimistic route, saying that the Rockies are in trouble. The way that Colorado has played in the last four games is worrisome, yes, but then again it's only four games. Any team can have a four game stretch like this one (ergo why the playoffs are such a crapshoot).
The fact is though that the Rockies are still three games up on San Francisco in the win column and even with losing streaks of five and four games in the past 20 games, Colorado is still 10-10 over that stretch. Take it back to their last 30 games and Colorado is 18-12. Here's the playoff picture as it currently stands.
Hawpe, Barmes Sit
According to this Denver Post article, Brad Hawpe was benched for yesterday's (and perhaps tonight's) game, while Clint Barmes has been benched on a more lasting, permanent basis. Tracy:
"Maybe it's my fault. Maybe I rode him too hard," Tracy said. "My door is open, so if he feels like he needs another day (today), we will just play it by ear."
In a Harding article Hawpe responds to Tracy:
"For a little bit, I wasn't where I needed to be, but we've worked back to that point where I'm successful," Hawpe said. "I want to get out there and help win ballgames.
"We've got a chance to open some distance and take breathers later on, during that last week of the season if we take care of business."
The numbers don't quite match up with what Hawpe is saying, but speaking for all Rowbots, I certainly hope that he puts it back together heading into the season's last 16 games.
Patrick Saunders believes that it's time for the veterans to carry the Rockies to the Promised Land.
Troy Renck has news on the Aaron Cook, Huston Street, Jose Contreras, and Jeff Francis fronts, detailing their simulated games and progress from injuries.
In other words, the Rockies are still in good shape.
Beyond the Boxscore's Jack Moore has a nice profile on Seth Smith--and surmises that he could be a superstar if given the playing time.
Scouts, Inc. (ESPN Insider) previews the Jorge De La Rosa-Matt Cain showdown. Of interest is that 61.8% of DLR's strikeouts come on breaking balls and that opponents are hitting .189 on low pitches from DLR.
CBS Power Rankings, because someone wants to read them.