Rockies have life again after series victories over NL West foes

Jul 4, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra (8), outfielder Charlie Blackmon (19) and outfielder Noel Cuevas (56) celebrate a win against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a rollercoaster ride for the Colorado Rockies throughout the first half of the 2018 season. After coming into the year perceived as contenders and then significantly underperforming for the majority of May and June, the Rockies (44-43) won six-of-seven and now sit just four games behind Arizona for the division lead.

The Rockies still have cause for concern as the bullpen continues to figure out its identity, but there is hope in LoDo again after taking two from Los Angeles and sweeping San Francisco.

What’s more, the Rockies have done so behind multiple dominant performances from the starting rotation. Manager Bud Black was able to get seven or more innings out of his starters in five of the six games played over the two series’ and the Rockies starters came up big by giving up no more than two runs in all of those victories.

The starting pitching has been so strong that Colorado even won its seventh total 1-0 game at Coors Field in franchise history and first since 2008 Wednesday night. The last time that the Rockies had previously won a 1-0 game anywhere was at Cincinnati on July 18, 2010. Oddly enough, catcher Chris Iannetta homered in the victory Wednesday night and in the one-run victory over the Reds ten years ago. 

After coming up with a crucial Independence Day sweep over the Giants at home, the Rockies are now primed for a three-game series at Seattle. Much like Willie Nelson though, the Rockies cannot wait to get on the road again, where they are 26-21 in 2018.

Now within four games of first place and less than one game behind the Giants in the division standings, the next 12 games will be crucial for Colorado. The Rockies will play six games against the Mariners and six against the Diamondbacks, starting with three in Seattle before returning home for three against Arizona and the second series with the Mariners and finally concluding with a three-game series in Phoenix (July 20-22).

The 2018 season has certainly zigged when the Rockies expected it to zag, but that is the beauty of baseball and what makes this rollercoaster experience so interesting. The Rockies should be thankful to still legitimately have a chance at the playoffs after struggling for two straight months but there is no time for apologies or excuses.

This is arguably the most talented roster in franchise history and there is plenty of baseball to be played, so if the Rockies can continue to get strong outings from the starters, there is no ceiling for what this team can accomplish this season. The ability has always been there but the consistency has not.

Have the Rockies finally turned the corner or was the past week of dominance an anomaly? We will find out over the next two weeks.

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