Saying the Rockies have struggled lately would be putting it nicely. The Rockies have flat out been bad the last couple of weeks. To be more specific, the Rockies bullpen has been bad the last couple of weeks.

I know, we’ve all heard this before, but this year was different. In contention in August? We haven’t felt this way about the Rockies so late in the year since 2009. But I, unlike a lot of you, haven’t yet given up.

At 56-59 going into the weekend series against the Philadelphia Phillies and still just 4.5 games back of the final wildcard spot in the National League, the Rockies are still well within striking distance. I understand that they’ve lost five of the last seven, but this team is still making progress towards becoming an actual contender.

The bullpen has struggled, and that has to be addressed, but we have no reason to believe that general manger Jeff Bridich will not do so this winter. He’s already shown that he will do whatever he can to make this team better when given the opportunity.

Just look at the starting rotation. They’ve finally begun to pull their weight for the first time in a long time.

The Rockies starters had a total of 23 quality starts at home all of last season. This year the staff has already produced 24 quality starts. Now, when you break that down, it equals a 4.50 ERA, which is not great, but think about Coors Field. If your starter can get through six innings and just give up three runs, you would expect the offense to carry its weight and score more than three runs in six innings at home.

Why is a quality start so important? Well, outside of what I mentioned above, the Rockies are 40-21 this year when they get a quality start from their pitcher. I understand the team has been frustrating to watch, blowing leads late in games, but I look at it the other way: It actually feels kind of good to be disappointed with the Rockies. It means we’re invested in the team. It means we care. That is something I haven’t felt in a long, long time.

I’ve been very optimistic this year when it comes to the Rockies, and I admit that I’ve been burned at times, especially the last couple of weeks, but with a couple of wins, perhaps even a sweep in Philly this weekend, the Rockies could find themselves right back in the mix of things.

This team is on the right track. Let’s just hope ownership will allow Bridich to spend money to fix holes, and if they do, the Rox will be in position to really contend for a playoff birth next season.