The Colorado Rockies‘ season-opening weekend at Coors Field could not have gone any better. They finished off a three-game sweep of the San Diego Padres with a resounding 9-1 victory on Sunday, improving their record on the young 2013 season to 5-1.
By all rights, the Rockies could easily be 6-0 had it not been for a meltdown by their bullpen on opening day. But I’m sure that Rockies fans will settle for a five-game winning streak.
Given the team’s disastrous 2012 season, I decided to look and see when the Rockies last won five consecutive games. Would you believe it was last season? They did it twice.
The team’s first five-game winning streak ran from May 28-June 1. The next one was on Aug. 19-23.
Upon closer inspection, an asterisk appeared.
When you look at the Rockies’ first five-game streak of 2012, you’ll notice that four of those wins were against the Houston Astros.
The Astros finished last in the NL Central last season, 42 games behind the division-winning Cincinnati Reds. Their punishment for having such a poor season was being demoted to the American League.
According to the final standings from last season, the Mets finished 24 games out of first place in the NL East. The Marlins were 29 games back. The teams lost 181 games combined.
So what do those streaks tell us? They tell us that the Rockies, at least during those short stretches, won the games they were supposed to win.
The same thing seems to happening again this season — at least so far. The Rockies share the best record in baseball with the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks. Two victories were against the Milwaukee Brewers (currently 1-5) and the other three were against the Padres (also 1-5).
Now comes the true test.
The Rockies will embark on a six-game road trip beginning on Monday. Three of those games will be in San Diego. The first three will be against the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
They’ll be facing pitchers Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 0.00 ERA), Tim Lincecum (1-0, 0.00) and Barry Zito (1-0, 0.00).
The Rockies’ offense is on a roll. So are the Giants’ pitchers. If the Rockies are to be taken seriously this season and make a real run at a playoff spot, they’ll have to do the things that no one is expecting them to do. Beating teams like the Giants is as good a place to start as any.