How do you ensure a Colorado Rockies’ victory in 2013? Put their backs against the ball, make situation seem impossible and take away any odds – and they win.
Early in the season, the Rockies faced a brutal stretch in their schedule vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks and then the San Francisco Giants twice. This stretch was coming after a horrific slide in which they dropped 16 of 23 games. In the seven-game stretch all the Rockies did was walk through both rivals, finishing back atop the NL West.
Versus the red-hot Cincinnati Reds, the Rockies did the same thing. Losing starter Tyler Chatwood and closer Rafael Betancourt the day before the first game meant that the Rockies seemed doomed to another road slide.
However, that would not be the case. Getting back up from the proverbial mat, the Rockies took the series from the Reds on Wednesday night with all offensive cylinders firing.
Colorado found themselves down by three runs early, but that deficit didn’t last long.
For the second time in his career, Carlos Gonzalez went yard three times and Troy Tulowitzki pitched in two long balls in the effort. A team known for offensive explosions at home but occasional implosions on the road hit six home runs Wednesday night. Rookie Nolan Arenado had a career high-four hits and the Rockies had 20 hits as a team.
This was a huge series for the Rockies, who now find themselves back within 2.5 games of the NL West lead. More importantly was the situation and how the Rockies responded. They may have a habit of stubbing their toes against teams they should roll over, but no one can argue the grit this team has when they’re up against the odds.
This is simply another yarn in countless stories that are making the 2013 season memorable for the Rockies and those who follow them.
The Rockies are now home for a 10-game stretch vs. teams that have below .500 records, beginning with division foes the San Diego Padres. One would assume this to be a grand opportunity for the Rockies to make up significant ground, but once again, it’s the games that Rockies should win where they struggle most.
By declaration, that’s a new Rockies challenge. How will they handle this one?