One of the main draws of baseball’s unique allure is never knowing what to expect. Similar to the natural river meandering through the beautiful Rocky Mountains, the baseball season is characterized by ebbs and flows. There are ups, downs, highs, lows, winning streaks, losing skids, hot bats, cold hitters, lights out pitchers, and dead arms. These are inevitable dichotomies that weave their way through the thread of America’s favorite past time.
Ebbs and flows can happen on a game-to-game basis, week-to-week, or even season-to- season. Here are some recognizable ebbs and flows throughout baseball this year, both in the Rockies camp, and throughout the league.
Ebb: The Rockies started out of the gates this year like the Secretariat, going 11-2 in their first 13 games.
Flow: Since then they have stumbled like a donkey with arthritis, going 3-10 in their last 13 games.
Ebb: The Rockies started the season flourishing on day games, winning seven out of their first eight.
Flow: The Rockies have since gone ice-cold in daytime starts, dropping six in a row.
Ebb: The Tampa Bay Rays lost their first six games, and were 1-8 after nine contests.
Flow: The Rays are 22-9 since their lousy nine game start, and are leading the AL East.
Ebb: Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010 did not pick up his third loss until August 10th of last year, and he won every single one of his first six starts.
Flow: Ubaldo Jimenez in 2011 already has three losses this season, and he has yet to record a win in his first six starts.
Ebb: Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano had a dreadful beginning to the season, posting a 9.13 ERA in his first five starts.
Flow: So what does he do is his sixth start? Throws a no-hitter.
Ebb: Tulo was absolutely crushing the ball to begin the season. He hit seven home runs in his first 12 games. The Rockies were 10-2.
Flow: In Tulo’s last 25 games, he has launched just three long balls. The Rockies are now 20-18. You think it’s important for your clean-up hitter to hit home runs?
Ebb: Cargo, on the other hand, started off his 2011 campaign with meager power numbers. Last year’s hitting champion has hit just one home run in his first 25 games.
Flow: Cargo has seemed to find his stroke of late, hitting three bombs in his last 12. It will be a happy time for Rockies fans when these two Rox are successfully ebbing and flowing at the same time.
Ebb: Curtis Granderson’s home run total last year was 24, a very respectable number.
Flow: But The Grandy Man is hot as a pistol from the plate this season, and already has 13 home runs. That is already more than half his season total last year, and also is good for 2nd in the majors right now.
Ebb: Some of the early season Rockies success stemmed from their propensity to hit 3-run home runs. The Rockies were hitting 3-run bombs in crucial situations, leading to many April victories.
Flow: The last 10 Rockies home runs have all been solo shots, meaning the Rockies are not getting the ducks on the pond, not scoring as many runs, and have not had much success in May.
Ebb: Todd Helton in 2010 was not himself. Plagued by a bum back, he hit only eight home runs and 37 RBI. People claimed he was washed up and some even wrote him off for being finished.
Flow: Shame on those for writing off the greatest Rockie of all time, who has bounced back admirably in 2011. He already has six home runs and 19 RBI, well on his way to surpassing last year’s numbers.
Ebb: The Rockies offense finally shows some signs of life a few days back. They defeat the Padres 12-7, and then are up 7 -1 late in the next game, on the precipice of winning their first series in their last five.
Flow: The Rockies give up eight runs in the last three innings and lose 9-7. Then in the rubber game, the Rox get blown out of the building 8 -2, dropping their 5th series in a row.
So how can we explain these baseball anomalies? Why are there so many ebbs and flows in the sport of baseball? It’s an impossible question to answer, and also a reason why baseball is so fun to watch.