Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rocktober in June

Seems it's time for me to jump on the bandwagon.

I wasn't convinced when the Rockies began pounding on some downtrodden teams. I will admit, I just assumed they were on a hot streak, but one of those rare streaks where the bats AND the arms all come around simultaneously.

When Colorado lost to the Rays in the opener of a 3-game Interleague series in Colorado, I thought for sure the luster would come off, and they'd go back to being a slightly sub-500 team. But, lo and behold, the very next night, the Rockies came out and beat the Rays, then did it again in the rubber match. Along came Pittsburgh, and the Rockies swept them right back to sea level.

Then, the real test. Could the Rockies go on the road and beat the Angels? Admittedly, LA was half-slumping: the Dodgers took two of three while shutting down the middle of the Angels lineup. If the Rockies were going to prove themselves on the road against a decent team, this would be the time. Surely, Colorado could squeak out a few while the Angels were sorting out a few small slump-related issues. A couple of late-inning wins would do the trick...

But that was not how the Rockies wanted to play it. Colorado came into town knowing full well the Angels weren't hitting, and clobbered them. An 11-1 drubbing behind Aaron Cook's arm and production from (basically) the entire lineup made a mockery of any effort the tumbling Angels put forth. I'm still curious how the Rockies will handle a good team on the road when that team isn't scuffling, but the streak they're on right now has done enough to convince me they're at least pretty darn good.

There's a distinct lack of starting pitching. Guys like Jorge De La Rosa and Josh Hammel are doing their best to hold the game relatively close, but unless Aaron Cook and Ubaldo Jimenez pitch like All-Stars the rest of the way, I'm not sure this team can do more than win the wild card. Jason Marquis is not a #3 starter -- he's a #4 at best. The Rockies appear to be July buyers now, considering their surging/improving record. Perhaps they'll find a way to shop Garrett Atkins for a pitcher, or package Atkins with one of the prospects down on the farm. The Rockies have quite a few youngsters looking to make an impact (most of them coming over from the A's in the Matt Holliday trade), and maybe that impact will be made in another trade.

Not a great deal else to glean from last night's miniscule, 4-game slate. The Cardinals missed a golden opportunity to strike a tired, debilitated Mets team that is now without All-World talent Carlos Beltran. Currently, the Mets disabled list is packed with more talent than most of the small market clubs in the League. But it's tough to pity a team that can afford to sign Johan Santana, so on that note, I'm sure they'll bounce back, but I don't care terribly if they don't.

Manny Ramirez starts his Minor League rehab stint tonight, and you can be darn sure we'll be following it like a hawk. Plus, it'll be interesting to see if Manny gets any weird cravings mid-game...

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