Any time the Rockies play the Giants it’s an important game. I’m not willing to call any game in May a “must-win”, but today’s contest is particularly meaningful for a number of reasons. A win would go a long way in turning around the Rockies’ recent swoon.
First and foremost, this is a game that the Rockies should win. They are at home, and, despite their early record, they will be a good home team this year. On paper the pitching match-up is in their favor. But, obviously, Ubaldo Jimenez has been scuffling while Jonathan Sanchez has been very good. Still, anytime the Rockies are going for a series win and U is on the mound, they need to take care of business. Ubaldo has been a very good pitcher for three years. Today would be a great day for him to finally regain that form.
Secondly, winning this game and sweeping this series would send a message. With a win, the Rockies will retake first place. That would be quite significant. I’d imagine that blowing a four game lead in two weeks was a psychological hurdle for this squad. After everything that’s happened, clawing back into first place this quickly would be an enormous boost.
Finally, apparently, there was another closed door team meeting yesterday. This was the second one in the last few weeks. I don’t have a problem with team meetings. As they say, communication is very important. However, in baseball, there is a tricky fine line with these come-to-Jesus sessions. If used appropriately, they can be a shot of energy during a rough stretch. But, if over used, it all becomes lip service. If Jim Tracy stands in front of the team once every two weeks and demands accountability, but doesn’t actually require it, he’ll lose his team. If the losing continues, the next team meeting will be even less effective.
Last night, the Rockies were aggressive and relentless — kind of like they were at the start of the season. When they’re going well, they wear out pitchers and grind out wins. They bully opponents with ridiculous defense, lights out pitching, and thunderous bats. Actually, that’s what I call it — bully-mode. However, lately, the Giants have been the bullies. Today is a great chance for the Rox to hit back.