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So Now First Place isn’t Good Enough?

By Chris Jacobson

This will most likely be the only time you will see this fan ripping a first place Colorado Rockies team. As a long time fan of the club it is seldom I get to enjoy them in the top of the rankings, but there are a few things that seem disconcerting as the team moves forward.

The Rockies have gone 7 – 7 over their last fourteen games and they have lost series’ to their division rival Giants, had their hitters embarrassed by the Marlins and just lost a home series to the lowly Pirates. Granted, having a pitcher take a no-hotter into the ninth against your club and having a team score six runs on three hits like the Rockies had happen against the Marlins can demoralize your team; what happened at home against the Pirates was worse. The Rocks looked like they expected to win their series opener on Friday. They played flat, uninspired baseball. After rebounding on Saturday, the Rockies hoped to get back to their winning ways and get ace Ubaldo Jimenez back to the form that had him vying for a Cy Young last season. Instead of the return of Ubaldo, the start of a winning month and a series win against the Pirates, the Rockies added a series of question marks that could haunt them if the Dodgers continue their run or the World Series Champion Giants return to form. Jimenez looked as bad or worse than he has in any starts this season. He was wild and seemed to lack velocity. Jim Tracy decided to turn to Esmil Rodgers to relieve than Ubaldo and he was beaten around the field. All in all, the game was over before it started.

But the problem is bigger than losing a home series they probably should have swept and their number one starter being ineffective at best. The biggest issue at this point is that their offense has been toothless. Their premier three-four hitters have been less than average over the last two weeks (both Tulowitzki and Cargo are hitting just north of the Mendoza line over that period) and there hasn’t been anyone, save Todd Helton, with a heartbeat over the last fourteen games. There have been some really bright spots on this team, such as the afore mentioned Helton, Huston Street (10 saves 2.20 era) and Jorge De La Rosa (4-0, 2.61 era) but the bright spots are currently being doused by the average, stale play of the last few weeks. The team itself is batting a paltry .237 which is good for 23rd in baseball.

This team isn’t bad, quite the contrary. This is a ball club with aspirations of winning its first NL West title and of going deep into the playoffs. It’s not often Colorado fans have had the opportunity gripe when the team only wins half its games over a couple of weeks. When has this team ever been around .500 at home and so good on the road? Every team has lulls in their season and it’s nice to have one and maintain a 4½ game lead. They are not a team in freefall. They are simply a team that will allow a few teams that are not playing very good baseball to hang around. As a Rockies fan, how nice would it be to see the ballclub put an early fork in someone?

Maybe I’m complaining because their early standard was set so high this season. Maybe it’s because I took my daughter to her first game of the season just to see the hated Giants rough up Ubaldo. Mostly, I think that it’s early in the season and as much as I would like to write a little something about Jimenez shutting down teams and Cargo and Tulo sending souvenirs into the Rockpile, it just isn’t happening this week. Like I said, this is the last time I’ll be ripping our first place Rock-Show. Either they’ll start hitting or they won’t be in first very long. My bet is that this is a team that lost concentration a little bit and will be ready for a nice run starting with Arizona on Tuesday.

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