Fast forward through the year that’s been for the Colorado Rockies. The club that took the field and dominated the Dodgers Monday – that’s the team people thought they’d be.

Before the 2019 campaign, various pundits had the Rockies finishing all over the place. They were labeled a Wild Card contender, a team bound to regress, or even a competitor for the National League West crown.

Only one has appeared to come true, though the glimpses of the others were apparent in their 9-1 win.

With proverbial ‘archnemesis,’ Kenta Maeda on the mound, the Rockies were set up to fail. Coming into the game, he’d posted the lowest earned run average of any opposing starter with seven-or-more starts at Coors Field (2.76).

Instead of folding, the Rockies put forth a divine effort against the starter. In only four-plus innings, they tacked on six runs (five earned) behind the efforts of Nolan Arenado, David Dahl and Ryan McMahon. The trio drove in all five runs in the game-clinching fifth inning.

Before his two-run single, Arenado was in the midst of a slump. Coming into the game, he’d hit .229 in his previous 14 games.

Arenado, a top-10 NL MVP finisher in each of the last four years, was supposed to lead the charge. Surrounding him was projected to be a talented cast of Dahl, Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon and free-agent acquisition Daniel Murphy, as well as a lesser-known player like McMahon.

Each of the hitters above Arenado was supposed to get on base, with the club’s star driving them in, similar to Monday’s win. They were no longer going to be reliant on the long ball with a savvy veteran like Murphy entering the fold.

The offense has done their job for the most part. After their latest outburst, the club’s battery sits at second in the NL in runs (577).

That same offense has posed a different guise on the road.

In five fewer games, the Rockies have scored 341 runs at Coors Field, compared to only 236 away from it. Their on-base numbers dropped from a respectable .368 to a measly .284 when they exit 20th and Blake as well.

All the offensive problems aside – a pitching group that has failed to complete their assignment of limiting runs has played the largest role.

Kyle Freeland, German Marquez and a rebounding Jon Gray were supposed to lead the staff. Inning-eating veterans like Chad Bettis and Tyler Anderson merely needed to pick up the slack on the other two days.

Of the five, only three are still in the rotation, while the club’s top arm last year in Freeland was subject to a demotion after a rough start. In his first 59.1 innings, the southpaw had already allowed 47 earned runs – over half of his 2018 season total (64).

Inversely, Gray’s latest performance against the Dodgers was highlight-reel worthy. In eight innings, he allowed a single earned run, mowing down the league’s top lineup throughout.

The rebound effort from Gray is far more than anyone expected.

After a summer of adjustment and refinement, Gray has a 3.88 ERA across his 22 starts on the year. In 132.1 innings, he’s struck out 134. Adding him to a staff that was one of the best in franchise history would’ve put the Rockies in rarified air.

That is, of course, if Bettis hadn’t been forced to the bullpen due to struggles; Anderson hadn’t been relegated to the injured list with a left knee injury and Marquez hadn’t shown chinks in his armor that were foreign over the second half of 2018 (2.61 ERA in 14 starts).

Alas, all of the calamities that could’ve happened, happened.

Instead of competing for the first division crown in their history, the Rockies are battling to avoid a last-place finish.

At 50-57, they’re 0.5 games behind the Padres for fourth in the NL West, with a mountainous seven games separating them and the second Wild Card slot.

If only for a night, in the first loss of eight-or-more runs all year for the Dodgers, the Rockies shined through. The smiles, cheers and dominance were merely a blip on the radar of a season that was never supposed to be a losing one for the club.