Much like the weather in Colorado this summer; when it rains, it pours.
Last night, the Colorado offense rocked the Braves, raining 14 hits for a tremendous 12 runs.
It was one of those “nothing can go wrong” type of games that seem to come around only once a week for the Rockies this season—even Dexter Fowler’s complete ineptitude couldn’t keep him from going 3-4 while Ubaldo Jimenez dominated in Denver with nine strikeouts and only two solo homeruns given up in 6 2/3 innings.
It was Colorado’s first win over Atlanta in six games this season. The difference on Tuesday night? The Rockies scored a boat-load of runs (12). In their other five contests against the Braves this year Colorado could only create 2.4 runs per game (to Atlanta’s 6.2 per).
It seems simple to say, but when the Rockies can put up big numbers on the scoreboard, they win a vast majority of the time.
Colorado is a whopping 31-8 (79 percent) when scoring five or more runs in 2011. And the more they score, the better they are; the Rockies are a perfect 12-0 when they score nine or more runs this season.
When the Rockies are on top of their game, they’re nearly unbeatable, showing they are on the cusp of contending with the best teams in baseball.
Of course, the flip side of the coin is that the Rockies are a pathetic 3-23 (12 percent) when scoring two or less runs this year; it’s been feast or famine with not much room in between.
Blame the Rockies’ roller coaster year on injuries, bad managing and/or prospects that haven’t panned out.
No matter what the reason, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize the Rox haven’t played consistently enough to contend for the NL West or even the wild card as their playoff hopes are fading quicker than a summer sunset behind the majestic mountains.
At 46-51 currently, the Rockies are 10.5 games back of the Giants in the West, 11 GB of Atlanta for the wild card.
Remember that historic run of 21 wins in 22 games in 2007?
It’s going to take a similar run (or even two) of monumental proportions for the Rockies to reach to postseason this year, and maybe Tuesday’s blowout of the Braves will get Colorado’s momentum going in the right direction.
Or, was last night’s win just another tease, another aberration during the course of a demoralizing disappointing season of Colorado baseball?
Only time will tell and with an infinitesimal amount of sand left in the hourglass, the Rockies must go on a run now before time runs out and they find themselves sitting on the couch come October.
Ubaldo Jimenez is back
Much of the news surrounding the Rockies as of late has focused on the trade rumors swirling around Ubaldo Jimenez.
It’s a bit sad and telling of Colorado’s season that this trade rumor is the biggest story of their year, but that’s what happens when a supposedly superior team finds themselves barely breathing in late July.
Jimenez, the unquestioned Ace of the rotation in 2010, was hampered by injuries and started this season 0-5.
But Ubaldo has battled back, his fastball is again hitting the upper 90s on the radar gun and his stuff is so nasty he’s making even the most accomplished hitters look silly at the plate.
In his last 10 starts, Ubaldo has been unconscious—The Chief is 6-3 with a 2.58 ERA and 63 Ks.
Ubaldo’s consistency has certainly returned, he’s only given up 19 earned runs over that span, including two, two and three earned in his three losses while Jimenez averages 6 2/3 innings pitched and seven strikeouts per game.
And Ubaldo is 3-0 in his last three starts with tiny 2.18 ERA and 21 Ks.
Basically, this is the Ubaldo Jimenez Rockies fans hoped to have when the season started and it’s good to see him return to a mile high level, even if the team is likely too far behind to catch up at this point.
It also means that there’s no way the Rockies can trade Ubaldo Jimenez—a pitcher in the prime of his career, with an explosive arm and nasty stuff, a guy that’s loyal to the club and isn’t concerned about his lower than average contract.
If they do, the backlash by baseball fans in Denver could be monumental as the season is all but over and Ubaldo—along with Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez—is a star of the Colorado Rockies in the present and (should be) for years to come.