The Colorado Rockies are in the midst of their best start in franchise history. Boasting a 33-21 record, the Rockies have dominated the league in numerous aspects through the first quarter of the 2017 season.

However, while the Rockies have been firing on all cylinders, cornerstone outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has not. So far this season, Gonzalez is hitting a mere .240 with just four home runs and 17 RBIs. For much of the 2017 campaign, CarGo has struggled to establish consistency at the plate, but that does not mean he is not capable of flipping the switch at any given moment.

“What I tell myself all the time is when I go 0-for-4 or whatever is it’s not the first or last time it’s going to happen,” Gonzalez said. “If you play this game long enough, you are going to go 0-for-4 a lot, so you have to either understand how to deal with it or be miserable for your entire career. So I choose to deal with it every day. When you’re doing bad, that’s fine; it’s not the first time or last time it’s going to happen, but I know there’s going to be some really good games in front of me, so that’s what motivates me every day. That’s why I put the jersey [on] every day. I want to do well. I want to be a good player for this franchise.”

Recently, CarGo has started to turn a corner at the plate. Since May 11th, Gonzalez is batting .324 (23-for-71) with seven doubles and two home runs, a good sign for the struggling veteran.

“I think I can hit a little bit,” Gonzalez said with a chuckle. “Baseball is tough, hitting is tough. You’re going to go through ups and downs. Obviously, I had a slow start, but that doesn’t determine what kind of player I am.”

While 2017 has been filled with peaks and valleys for the 31-year-old free agent to be, winning is all that matters in his mind, something the Rockies have been doing a lot more of this year as opposed to years past. Winning is the center of everything for CarGo. Whether or not he’s with the Rockies organization following this season in unknown, but how the team finishes will likely dictate his future.

“We want to win games,” Gonzalez said. “Whatever your personal numbers [are], it doesn’t matter. You could hit 0-for-4 or 5-for-5; of course, someone is going to point and say ‘hey you had a great game,’ but I think the biggest things is winning, and when you are winning everything looks good, even when you don’t play well it looks good. So why change that? I think that’s the one number you have to care about most, is trying to get that win at the end of the day.”

The Rockies greatest trait so far this season has been their ability to continuously win despite the fluctuation in individual player performance and injuries. Already this season, Colorado has been dealt a handful of obstacles that they have overcome. From losing key players in Chad Bettis, Jon Gray, Ian Desmond and David Dahl early in the season to owning the youngest starting rotation in the National League, the Rockies have been forced to adapt as the season has progressed and have thrived during the process.

“This is a strong team from top to bottom; we have been saying this for a long time: If you want to be a good team, it takes more than one or two guys,” Gonzalez explained. “It takes all the way from the front office, GM, ownership, everybody on the same page trying to win a championship, so I think that’s where we are heading, and we are playing good baseball.”

The Rockies club as a whole is strong, with the addition of Bud Black being the glue that holds everything together. Since his arrival, Black’s ability to instill a winning culture within Colorado’s clubhouse has been the single biggest difference maker this season. Black’s chemistry with his players, pitchers most importantly, has allowed the Rockies to take their game to new heights, even when cornerstones like Gonzalez slump.

Right now, Colorado is playing with an added confidence that has been lacking within the organization for some time. The winning mentality within the clubhouse has become contagious with every player, coach, and front office executive having bought into the “win now” mindset.

“Everybody is picking each other up,” Gonzalez said. “When I wasn’t hitting everybody was doing it, so right now I’m helping a little bit offensively. We do the same thing defensively. I think that’s what it’s all about. You have to play as a team and try to do the best you can wherever they put you … Just keep pushing for yourself, keep pushing for your teammates and a lot of good things happen.”

A lot of good things have happened for the Rockies in 2017. While there is still more than one-third of the season left to play, there is no denying that this Rockies team has the potential to make some noise in the National League. While guys like Gonzalez, Trevor Story and others have struggled so far in 2017, it should give the Rockies organization all the more confidence that their team can be even better when they bounce back to form.