It seems like we say this every couple of weeks, but the Colorado Rockies once again face a critical point of the season as they host the division leading San Francisco Giants in a four game series starting on Thursday night.
Despite going 2-4 on their recently completed road trip and 4-8 in their last 12 games overall, the Rockies enter the series only two games behind the Giants. If they can win three out of four or even sweep the series, then the Rockies are right in the race as we head towards June. If the series goes the other way, then the summer turns into another lost season for the Rockies.
First the good news; the Rockies are at the top of their rotation as the series begins. Jhoulys Chacin will go in game one, and Jorge Del A Rosa will take the mound on Friday. Chacin has been solid all season, and Del A Rosa has been special in his last two outings, including taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning last Sunday versus the St. Louis Cardinals.
If the Rockies are going to get done what they need to get done this weekend, it is vital that they win the first two games. If they are able to do that, then the goal would be to sneak out another one over the weekend.
More good news is that the struggling offense is likely to get a boost as the Rockies return to Coors Field. Carlos Gonzalez is hitting the ball as well as he as all season, and the rest of the lineup showed signs of breaking out in the last two games versus the Chicago Cubs. The Rockies need to find the offense that carried them through the month of April.
Where there is good news, there is often bad news and the matchup with the Giants has not been a favorable one for the Rockies. The belief in baseball is that good pitching will beat good hitting every time, and that’s been the case with the Giants and the Rockies.
The Rockies must play small ball and take advantage of scoring opportunities. That includes doing the little things they have not done to this point in the season. The Rockies must hit the ball to the right side to advance a runner on second to third, and they have to get bunts down and put the ball in play when there’s a runner on third.
The Giants’ pitching is too good; the Rockies are not going to beat them by relying on three-run home runs and big innings. Fundamental baseball must be the order of the weekend if the Rockies still want to be in the division race on Sunday night.
It might be getting old to keep calling the next series a make or break one for the Rockies, but that’s the case for this team. Better teams can afford to fall four or five games behind, but the Rockies do not have that luxury. If they start to lose touch with the division leaders, then the free fall will be fast and hard.
The good news is the Rockies are playing a big series in the middle of May; the bad news is if it does not go well, it will be the last big series of the season.
Follow me on Twitter @Jemorrone7