The Coors Effect

September 14, 2009 2:17 PM

San Diego quiets Rockies bats over weekend

I hesitate to say that the Padres were responsible for quieting the Rockies offense over the weekend.  After all, Clayton Richard, Sunday's starter, has a 2.48 ERA at Petco and a 5.40 ERA overall since coming over to the Padres.

Still, it was frustrating to see the Rockies to struggle to push runs across the plate this weekend, even in San Diego.  The Rockies dropped two of three and only scored nine runs for the series, putting a halt to the team's momentum that had built up over an eight-game winning streak.  The good news, though, is that the Giants weren't able to make up any ground on the Rockies; the Rockies are 20 games over .500 and lead the Giants by 4.5 games.  And, with a three-game series coming up in San Francisco, the Rockies have an opportunity to put a dagger in the Giants -- a sweep would give the Rockies a virtually insurmountable lead in the wild card race, though the team should still be on the lookout for the Marlins and Braves, who aren't that far back.

Given the pitching matchups in this series, a sweep isn't really that likely: even as a Rockies diehard, I admit that tonight's matchup between Hammel and Lincecum favors the Giants, and despite Jorge's strength in the second half the Giants are probably favored in Wednesday's matchup between him and Cain.  The Tuesday matchup between Ubaldo and Barry Zito would seem to favor the Rockies, but Ubaldo was held back Saturday because of a balky hamstring (which led to Esmil Rogers making his MLB debut) and may not be sharp.

Given all that, I'd be happy with the Rockies taking two of three in this series, but even taking one would only allow the Giants to pick up a game in the standings.  A 3.5-game lead with a couple of weeks left obviously isn't insurmountable, but the Rockies should have other chances to wrap up the playoffs.

For some good news, the Rockies' 82nd win on Friday clinched a winning season -- the club's second in three years after six straight losing seasons.

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