The Rockies win. The Rockies win. Oh how nice it feels to say that.
Thursday night at Minute Maid Park was the breakout I’ve been hoping to see. Homeruns all over the place and the Rockies were the offense juggernaut so many, including myself, know they can be.
I’ve worn all different types of outfits this season in hopes of finding the right combination. This game was not anything I wore though. Sitting with Kylie of Blake Street Blogger fame, we had a secret weapon- the lucky pj pants.
There was one mystery about them. They refused to be taken in a picture correctly. For whatever reason, the camera which would pick up every other color perfectly, would not take a picture of the purple pants. They came out blue every time.
How nice it was to see one Mr. Garrett Atkins taking the plate. I like to say I called it when I said homerun here Garrett, left field. Not once but twice he would oblige. Sitting in the front row of the stadium watching Garrett run the bases, I couldn’t help but yell, “It had to turn sometime.”
Garret Atkins by Tom Walsh
Back to back Brad Hawpe-Atkins solo homeruns. It was beautiful to see. After talking to a Rockies insider very close to the team, I found out Atkins had been on the trading block the entire winter but nobody was interested. It hurt to hear because I am a big fan, but it’s the game I suppose.
Outside of the hitting, the pitching was just as impressive. Finally I saw confidence and an outing worthy of applause.
Jason Hammel by Tom Walsh
Jason Hammels shut down the Astros and the 17 game hitting streak by Miguel Tejada came to an end.
Kylie, Ozzy and I decided we would just take the seats no one had been sitting in while we were standing during batting practice. If those people didn’t want them we would gladly take them. First row field level for $7, you wouldn’t hear any gripes from me.
Smiles all around. The Rockies were winning and handily. Just then I turned around and there were new people sitting behind me. One was wearing a “happy” shirt. Could this be? Could I be meeting a “happy youngster” groupy in real life. I asked this gentleman where he got his shirt and I would find out not only was he a fan of happy but also a snagger himself.
Lonestar from the MLBlogging community himself, had a very productive night at the ballpark. Happy may have some competition. This was the second time I had met two bloggers in the same park in the same night. It’s awesome to meet people within the blogging community.
I was happy to meet Kylie and I hope she keeps the lucky pj’s rocking until we are in first place. If they keep up, she needs to take them to college with her when she leaves for Colorado. The Rockies fan base would be happy to get that luck in the mix.
Ozzy and I had a great time and the Rockies took one to keep the sweep from happening. Hopefully this can keep up into St Louis. With a quick detour I hope to catch at least two games of that series. Wish me luck. Houston was good to me and it’s time to move on.
That’s what Rockies closer, Huston Street, said when I asked him if we were going to win tonight
Huston, everybody knows what Yoda said in Star Wars. “Do or do not. There is no try.”
This is not going to be a post bashing Street or any other Rockies player for that matter, but I did see something maybe I have never seen with the Rockies-no confidence.
In the beginning of the season, batting practice looked like a bunch of happy guys who were determined to win every game. Now it looks like a lot of serious faces taking frustration out on balls flying deep into the bleachers.
But these are serious times in Rockies land. Just last week the skip was let go and anybody I suppose could be on the chopping or trading block. I saw Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd in the stands last night and I couldn’t help wonder if he was feeling maybe a little less insecure about his position.
The Rockies had the lead by a run in the ninth and just needed Street to close it out. A few hits later and he was visibly shaken on the mound. You knew it was coming but would it reach extra-innings or the game over. Extra innings and my heart went out to Street. It was easy to see he was upset at himself. I personally think Street may be one of the nicest guys on the team. Hell if I had a sister or a daughter, I think I’d be fine with her going out with him just from how I’ve seen him act all these many games and how he has interacted with me. Class act and a gentleman he is.
But letting the lead go in the ninth is not getting it done. I’ve seen him pitch masterfully and no closer is perfect, but this could be the worst time to falter.
The closer wasn’t the only thing faltering. Leaving men on base has been killing the Rockies. In ’07 they knew the guy behind them was going to bring them in. Now it looks like they are clutching to win the game themselves. No confidence breeds bad results.
Josh Fogg, the once mighty dragon slayer, may even be weary himself. This is a picture before he threw the ball that would go as a walk off homerun. You tell me if he looks confident.
Josh Fogg by Tom Walsh
Before the game I had to joke with Garrett Atkins about the slump buster ball he signed. I told him I hope it’s helping because I did promise him it would break him out of his slump to sign the team ball and I didn’t want to be made out to be a liar. He smiled and said “It’s gotta turn sometime.”
I’m hoping not just for Garrett but the team as a whole it turns quicker than later.
What a month. You get excited because baseball is back and you remind yourself it is still early. Anyone can win and someone must always lose. If you are winning, you pinch yourself and say it will last all season. If you are losing, you punch yourself and hope to wake up from the dream.
I won’t be punching myself…yet.
Come to think of it. I don’t really care for April. I mean you may get winter weather, you may get summer. Snowstorms, rainstorms, bring a jacket, freeze or sweat your you know what off. It’s like a giant rollercoaster ride. I don’t think I even know any nice or pretty girls named April either. They’re usually unsightly and mean (sorry to all the Aprils who are opposite I have not met).
Some people disregard April in baseball, and although it is also said seasons can be won and lost in April, does anyone really know?
The Rockies are a stellar 8-12. What does that tell me? Does it mean the season is over because they have a losing record ending April? Can’t they come back in May or June even?
See that’s my point. April is well, like that boyfriend who won’t marry you and is afraid of committment for one reason or another..not that I know anything about that. It’s the start of something, but I really don’t place a lot of stock in the end of April records.
Take for instance the Rockies. If you are not looking closely at the team, you may think they suck. If you look a little closer you would see the Rockies have lost five games decided by a run. Turn those five loses into wins and the Rockies are 13-8. A huge difference. All of a sudden they are almost tied for the division if not leading it! Maybe tinker with the pitching and those five losses are avoided in May.
Players like Troy Tulowitzki are probably pretty happy April is ending. The starting
is batting a sweltering .200 and was benched for a “work day” this week to try and help him regain his swing at the plate. Does his April mean he should be benched in May and his position handed over? Absolutely not!
Can we assume Garrett Atkins with his team leading 77 at bats and underperforming .247 is a lost cause? No way!
But should we be careful in assuming say Brad Hawpe’s .328 will drop and slump? Maybe. There might be a slight drop off in production but the guy is a career .284 hitter so it could go either way.
I’d like to give Dexter Fowler the award for most stolen bases this season, but it would be ridiculous to do so because anything can happen.
So what do we do with April? Should we give the Cardinals the NL pennant because they are coming out of April 15-7? Probably not nor would we assume the second from last Mets will stay in the bottom of the east all year.
April is like that appetizer that just starts to get you filled up for the main course. If you got a great appetizer and you’re excited for the meal, awesome, but the meal could suck. And if you got a bad appetizer and are excited for the meal, great, because it could be stellar.
All I know is with 120 days in the Colorado fans are ready for some wins. You can be sure we’ll be rooting for May to go our way. And yes I am a poet and didn’t even know it…