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Tuesday Rockpile: Monday's Game = Formula for Success?

I will not call the Rockies unlucky this season, as I am quite certain every fanbase believes their team has been treated poorly by Lady Luck.  I will say that the Rockies needed three things to revive their playoff hopes - to play much better, help in the standings against the teams ahead of them, and most certainly a little bit of good fortunate in close games.

I think it is safe to say the Rockies have had a clean sweep of that trio, punctuated by Monday night.  On a night where the Padres, Cardinals and Phillies had already lost, Colorado was in danger of losing 1-0 in San Francisco last night.  Instead, they won their first road game in 2010 when trailing after eight innings.

The pivotal game became Yahoo! Sports' Game of the Night, and Keith Law congratulated the Rockies on a big win.  And it was all thanks to one ridiculously quirky flyout triple.

But truth be told, if the Rockies were to make a charge, these are exactly the types of games Colorado needed to put in the W column.  They cannot afford to let nine-run comebacks turn into losses, as the Giants have.  They have to squeak out wins on the road in games they may or may not deserve to win.  Put a big black check mark next to the luck column.

The Rockies are 7-1 in their last eight games, 2-0 on the road (despite scoring 3 runs).  Put a check mark next to in the "playing well" column.

Lastly is the "Help" column, and more than any 8-game stretch this season, the Rockies have gotten help on this 8-game streak.  Get ready for another check mark.  Despite playing vastly inferior teams (Arizona, Pittsburgh, Houston, etc), not a single one of the teams the Rockies are chasing have a winning record since August 22:

Team Record Gm Made Up GB
Padres     3-5         4.0 7.0
Giants     3-5         4.0 2.0
Cardinals     3-6         4.5 0.5
Phillies     4-5         3.5 3.5
Braves     4-4         3.0 6.5

That is a lot of ground made up for eight days, but really, let's not get too excited yet.  The last eight days have been a perfect combination of dozens of outcomes that simply won't be repeated again.  As it is, the Rockies have a 12.55% 15.95% chance of making the post-season.  That is a vast improvement from August 22 (in fact, no team improved their odds more since August 24), but there is still an steep uphill climb in the final 32 games.  At least the Rockies have given their fans something to watch going into September.  After all the injuries and that brutal 2-9 road trip after the All-Star Break, that is all we can ask for.

Tulo News

Rockies' Tulowitzki skips start vs. Giants - The Denver Post

Tulowitzki took batting practice Monday but did not field any groundballs. He hopes to play tonight, though the longer he talked it sounded like Wednesday was more realistic. - Troy E. Renck


Some news in case you missed it yesterday afternoon/evening:

Rockies swap Chacin, Cook in upcoming starts | Inside the Colorado Rockies
This is most certainly a positive development, especially considering Cook's career lines against the Phillies and Padres.  That sets up the pitching matchups the rest of the week as Rogers/Bumgarner, Jimenez/Lincecum, Chacin/Blanton, Cook/Garland, Hammel/Richard, De la Rosa/LeBlanc.  Even on the road for 5 of those 6, each one of those match-ups is winnable, making Rox Girl's request of a 5-2 week possible.

Rockies' McGregor died from rare virus - The Denver Post - The disease is known at viral myocarditis, which is a virus that attacks the heart and is incredibly rare.  According to this website, the "incidence of cardiovascular involvement after enteroviral infection is 1-4%."  Moreover, full recovery (when the disease is caught, which it was not with McGregor) runs over 50%.    Those are long odds; I'll let you interpret that as you may.

Rockies' Barmes carries burden for cancer-stricken father - The Denver Post - Onto another sad story.  Clint Barmes' bereavement was to visit his father, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to his bones on June 15.  And we wondered why Barmes' second half decline was more dramatic than usual.

CarGo's big week nets NL honor | News

Fantasy Baseball: Who Is Your #1 Pick in 2011 Drafts? - FakeTeams - Carlos Gonzalez is currently third in the poll, trailing Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera, beating Joey Votto.


Feature Links:

Twitter / Kevin Goldstein: Sleeper Alert: The prospect guru lauds the Rockies' 2010 8th round pick Corey Dickerson as a sleeper prospect.

A digital salute to pitch grips - Mike Fast at The Hardball Times attempts to create a shorthand for accurately illustrating the pitch grips MLB pitchers use.  The link is worth it for its geometry nerdiness, but it is a must see if you have never seen Adam Wainwright's curveball grip.

BtB Power Rankings: Week 21 -- Entering the stretch run - Beyond the Box Score - BtB's intensely statistical Power Rankings from Saturday evening had the Rockies 10th in MLB, ahead of the Reds, Giants, Dodgers and Phillies.  The Rockies have gone 3-0 since that was published.