The Colorado Rockies fell apart in the weeks leading up to the All-star Break. Thier pitching collapsed and their offense was out of sync. The June gloom had people saying it again: “Is this it?” Rockies fans have become accustomed to watching their team fall out of contention right as the the dog days of summer kick in.
During their struggles, Colorado dropped close to 20 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers for the division lead and a handful behind the Arizona Diamondbacks for the first Wild Card spot.
Out of the break, the Rockies sputtered in two games in New York, but refound their footing to end that series to head home for a six-game homestand.
The trip back to 20th Blake was a big one for the Rockies who won five of their six ball games and caught fire at the plate in the process, recording 61 runs on their home turf.
The Rockies have since dropped two in a row to the St. Loius Cardinals, but if they turn it around quickly, the club has an opportunity to solidify themselves as a postseason player and play catchup potentially with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
As it stands, the Rockies sit 12.5 games back of the Dodgers. Quite the feat, but with the Dodgers now without Clayton Kershaw for 4-6 weeks there could be a chance. Also, Los Angeles has yet to hit a legitimate rough patch this season, which as I wrote earlier in the year, all teams will face at one point or another over the course of 162 games.
This could be it.
Before the year the talk about the Dodgers was how they didn’t have enough pitching, but the opposite has held true this season.
Could this last without Kershaw?
While the division title is still considered a pipe dream, the Rockies can make some serious gains in the Wild Card standings.
Arizona has lost seven of their first 11 games out of the break, and seem to have hit the some of the same rough patches the Rockies did weeks ago. A lead on the Diamondbacks would be enormous for Colorado.
Any lead is welcomed, but with the Rockies having holes to fill it would provide some breathing room.
There is also the potential that Jeff Bridich and the front office can work some magic at the trade deadline to add to a pitching staff that clearly needs some help.
As is, Colorado is mere percentage points behind the Diamondbacks for the first Wild Card spot. With the Chicago Cubs within striking distance of the NL Central, the list of teams vying for a Wild Card spot are far less intimidating, featuring the Milwaukee Brewers, Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves.
The time has come for Colorado to capitalize with the pressure set to crank up as the schedule narrows.