Colorado Rockies scoring with big balls and small
Local sports yakkers have been hyping the Colorado Rockies' current homestand as the most important in the history of the franchise, which strikes me as an example of enthusiasm trumping short-term memory. Seems to me there were some pretty key series at Coors Field during the run-up to the Rockies' World Series season, which took place waaaay back in 2007. Still, it was impossible not to get excited about the squad's response to Friday's opening-game 6-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants -- two come-from-behind victories, with the latest, yesterday's 4-2 win, being the most impressive despite fewer runs on the scoreboard. Ubaldo Jimenez wasn't intimidated by Giants starter Tim Lincecum even though the latter started out with five-plus innings of no-hit ball, and neither were the Rockies batters -- particularly Seth Smith, whose seventh-inning home run not only reached the upper deck, but seemed capable of flying straight through it. For me, though, the insurance tally the Rockies scored in the eighth inning was even more impressive. The team managed to notch a run despite just one hit -- a single by Troy Tulowitzki that bounced higher than its total distance from the plate. An error, a swinging bunt by Ian Stewart, a walk and a hit batsman did the rest of the damage, which qualified as death by a thousand cuts -- but death nonetheless.
Right now, the Rockies are as good at small ball as they are at SportsCenter-friendly bombs -- and if they can defeat the Giants later today and hold their own against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the next crew on the docket (and one that always seems to have the Rocks' number), they'll solidify their playoff chances in a major way whether they win the division or not. Of course, questions remain -- like, for instance, Jason Giambi? But if this weekend was any indication, the Rockies will have the answers.