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Monday Rockpile: What Losing to Losers Gets You

I suppose that would make you a loser yourself right?  Except in this strange season, the Rockies have a winning record.

As strange as it is to believe, the Rockies actually are 7-3 in their last ten games.  Despite a disappointing series split in Pittsburgh, a modest 3-3 record and an ugly loss to the Giants in the last seven days, the Rockies made up ground in the division (half game) and wild card (full game) since last Monday.  They sit just 4 games out of the playoffs in the loss column, fourth in the Wild Card standings, with 51 games left to play.  

That means Colorado controls their destiny against every team in front of them sans the Phillies.  For you scoreboard watchers, that means the Phillies need to lose more than any team, including the Padres and Giants.  But help with one team isn't bad at all.

That doesn't completely take the sting out of the games against the Pirates.  Despite the convincing win yesterday, Colorado lost the season series three games to four against arguably the worst team in Major League Baseball.  Last year, I was irritated when people would suggest the Rockies "play down to their opponents" after a loss to the Pirates or Mets.  The truth is, the Rockies had no mercy against bottom feeders in 2009.

Colorado not only won but swept the season series against the Nationals, Mariners, Athletics, Brewers and Reds in 2009.  That accounts for a 25-0 record, making it far simpler to collect wins elsewhere. Compare that to the 2010, whose only guaranteed sweep this season came against the Blue Jays.  If you want to know why the Rockies have failed to truly challenge for the division (save for one week in July), look no further than their record against the weakest teams in the league.  Here are their sub-.500 opponents and the Rockies' records against them: 

         Team Record

Rockies' Record
      vs. Team

Pirates   39-72              3-4
Diamondbacks   43-69              5-4
Astros   47-63              2-4
Cubs   47-64              3-2
Royals   47-64              2-1
Nationals   49-63              5-3
Brewers   53-59              3-3
Marlins   54-56              3-4
Mets   55-56              2-1
Angels   56-57              1-2

That's the definition of mediocrity right there, which of course is incredibly disappointing.  The Rockies are two games over .500 against one team, two games under against one team.  One game under against three teams, one game over against four games .  They managed a .500 against one team.  That equates to a very average 29-28 record. 

Yep, that's right.  Our boys in purple pinstripes are 29-28 against losing teams and 29-25 against winning teams.  In a strange way, that makes the inconsistent Rockies remarkably consistent -  they play the same level of baseball against the Pirates as they do the Red Sox.  

That still doesn't make it okay to lose to the Pirates, who are 2-7 against the Giants and Padres.  As Rox Girl pointed out yesterday, this doesn't mean the Rockies can't make the playoffs.  It just means they could have made it a LOT easier on themselves. 

Links after the jump. 

Smith unlucky but OK after foul balls | News - When Seth Smith fouled that ball off his shin, I expected the worst.  It looked painful.  My mind even convinced me I saw his leg break.  But it turns out he just fouled the ball off a sore spot from an identical event, and Smith is fine.

Carlos Delgado supposedly talked to the Rockies, White Sox, and Mariners before signing with Boston.  Our incredulous reaction to Ken Rosenthal's report of a connection to the Rockies was pretty misplaced, it seems.

Rockies split series, thump Pirates behind 14 hits - The Denver Post - Hey we won yesterday!

Despite slumps, Fowler sparks Rockies from leadoff position - The Denver Post 

"Rockies are 20-10 when (Fowler) leads off and five games under .500 with anyone else. Fowler collected two hits Sunday, finishing the series 5-for-15 with three RBIs." - Troy E. Renck

Beimel, Belisle consistent stars out of bullpen - The Denver Post - These guys are incredible.

"In summary: Beimel, Belisle, reliable." - Troy E. Renck

Twitter / David Hood: David OhNo tweets that 25-year-old outfielder Ryan Harvey is going to try his hand at pitching, per the Tulsa World.  The 6'5" 240 pound outfielder was the 6th overall pick of the 2003 draft by the Cubs and has a horrid .213/.269/.402 line in his second full season in AA Tulsa.  I watched him launch a monster home run in Tulsa, so I'll be rooting for him.  It is kind of a no risk/low probability/high reward type of move.

Twitter / Colorado Rockies: The official Rockies twitter account notes the Rockies have the 2nd-most HR in the National League in the 7th inning or later.  Remember when the Rockies never scored after the 6th inning?

casey weathers (caseymweathers) on Twitter - I just discovered the Twitter account for the Rockies 2007 1st round pick.

Lastly, Carlos Gonzalez is incredible.  Check out this stat line, thanks to Renck:

In his last 11 games, he is 24-for-48 with eight home runs (he crushed a two- run shot in the first inning) and 15 RBIs.

I have taken his production with a slight grain of salt, given his mid-90's level Coors home/road splits.  It is encouraging to see production in the last three games, but the splits remain.  Others have noticed too.  Thanks to Flashfire for this FanPost, we have been made aware of the tireless work over at Athletics Nation to decipher why CarGo has exploded so much at Coors Field.  It is a bit heavy, but well worth the read..