Strike 1: It’s not unusual for a team to lose two out of three when they visit the Los Angeles Dodgers. Most teams, in fact, do just that.

The Colorado Rockies just did it as well, but at this stage, the Rockies can only hope to be “most teams.” They aren’t going that good.

The guys in purple pinstripes have caught a lot of heat over the past couple of seasons, and with good reason. Nearly every criticism tossed out about the on-field product at 20th and Blake has been deserved. And then some. Losing a lot will do that to a fan base (and local media).

Over the first six weeks of the season, Colorado was on pace to lose something like 150 games (126 actually.) They played at a .222 clip over that span. That’s all-time terrible, plain and simple.

But over the past three weeks, those mostly same Rockies are playing at a .650 clip, having swept the World Series champion Texas Rangers, swept a – gasp – road series in San Diego, and just recently won home series against the best team in the National League (Philadelphia) and the top team in the American League, the Cleveland Guardians.

Now, hot streaks happen just like slumps do, and they can be just as misleading. These Rockies aren’t a 105-win team (which is the pace they are on during this three week run) but perhaps they aren’t a 126-loss team, either?

Perhaps, and take a deep breath before you say it out loud, the Rockies much maligned organizational plan is working?

They’ve been pitching it to us, and we’ve been mostly unwilling to listen. That’s largely because it’s been six years since this organization and its followers could even dream about the postseason. That tends to skew your outlook. And it’s been pretty much since the start of last season that they’ve more or less admitted it was time to rebuild, which meant the losing wasn’t over by a long shot.

They won’t say the quiet part out loud of course, but this is what rebuilding is supposed to look like (minus having a grossly overpaid former MVP you can’t get rid of on the payroll and in the lineup.) Teams that are stocked with really young players are supposed to get knocked around by more veteran teams, especially early on. The hope is that those young players will grow from the experience, and eventually find their way. Maybe what we’re seeing now is the early stages of that?

The hope is also that during the hard times, talent and character will reveal itself, allowing the Rockies talent evaluators to see exactly what they have before they go out and pursue what they still need.

It’s supposed to work like this. The Rockies know, for instance, they have (another) budding superstar shortstop. There’s that.

So maybe we should stop bashing the Rockies for being all-time terrible and let the process continue to play out?

It’s painful, sure. And it’s not done being painful. The Rockies have miles to go and no real, actual timetable to get there. They have a good group of young position players, and more on the way. But they still don’t have much of any big league ready young pitching moving up the chain. They’re still going to take their lumps on the bump, probably more often than not.

They aren’t going to lose 100 games again this season. But they aren’t going to win more than they lose, either. Not even close. When the infield dirt settles on 2024, these Rockies will still find themselves last in the National League West, nowhere near contention.

But that does not mean progress isn’t being made. We are seeing it unfolding right in front of us, right now. Maybe we should be willing to accept that?