With the glorified exhibition that is the All-Star Game out of the way, our focus (and by "our," I mean Drew's and mine, not the city of Denver, who's probably back to forgetting that Denver even has a baseball team and focused on the Broncos) turns back to the Rockies and their quest to make it back to the playoffs.
To get one thing out of the way: Finishing the season at .500 would require the Rockies to play at a .636 clip the rest of the way, and there's been nothing this season to suggest that this team can play at that kind of clip over two and a half months. Some of the folks at Purple Row are holding out hope based on the fact that the Rockies only play four games against a team with a winning record the rest of the season, a four-game set against the Marlins at the end of this month. But that ignores the fact that the Rockies are 21-28 against teams with losing records through the All-Star break. We're 13-23 against the division; I just can't see this turning out well unless a completely different Rockies team shows up for the second half of the season. The Rockies we saw in the first half aren't winning the West, and aren't even coming close in the Wild Card, what with the Mets, Brewers, and Cardinals all looking like pretty solid contenders.
And making it back to the playoffs will become even more difficult if, as has been rumored, Matt Holliday gets shipped out of town. Brian Fuentes is as good as gone, but the Rockies are much more up in the air about Holliday, who's now the face of the franchise and whose contributions won't be easily replaced. One rumored destination for Holliday (and Fuentes, for that matter) is St. Louis, who has the prospects to trade and needs an impact player to keep up after the Cubs and Brewers traded for Rich Harden and CC Sabathia, respectively.
Tonight's game: Rockies vs. Pirates, Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Paul Maholm. I'd prefer Aaron Cook to start and set the tone for the second half, but after he went three innings in the All-Star marathon, that wasn't in the cards; so Ubaldo was the next best choice. Let's see what this team can do in the second half.