The Coors Effect

July 11, 2010 12:23 AM

Rockies make it six in a row behind barrage of homers

Right now, the Rockies are in one of those grooves that seem to come around once or twice every year.  And it's amazing that it's coming with Tulo out of the lineup.

Almost everybody on offense seems to be clicking at just the right time.  Tonight, the Rockies knocked twelve hits -- four different players had two hits each.  It's hard to point to one player who's been the catalyst behind the good times, because just about everybody seems to be making positive contributions.

Carlos Gonzalez?  Well, he just added his fifth homer in the month of July -- seventeenth of the season.  Jonathan Herrera?  Oh, he's only started all 21 games since Tulo went down -- and he's hitting .372.  He even had an extra-base hit tonight!  Todd Helton on the DL, too?  No worries -- Jason Giambi and Brad Eldred are hitting.  Eldred hit his first big-league homer since 2007 tonight -- though, to be fair, he'd hit 22 homers at Colorado Springs this year, and 35 at AAA Charlotte in 2008, so it's not like power is unexpected.  Ian Stewart on the bench after two homers the night before?  Don't worry -- Melvin Mora hit his first homer of the season.  Hell, Clint Barmes had two hits -- and two walks!  When does that ever happen?

Yeah, the Rockies are hammering the ball right now.  Okay, so tonight's offensive barrage only led to four runs -- it seemed that when the Rockies weren't hitting the ball over the fence, they weren't scoring.  But no matter; Jason Hammel made sure that four runs were plenty for the Rockies tonight.  Hammel -- who's responded to the possibility that he might be demoted to the bullpen by pitching very well -- continued his string of strong pitching tonight, even with his place in the rotation secure.  Hammel allowed two runs on five hits and two walks over 6.1 innings, and the bullpen (Matt Belisle, Joe Beimel, and Huston Street) totally shut down the Padres the rest of the way.  That, folks, was plain excellent.

So now, the Rockies can win tomorrow and go into the All-Star break in a first-place tie.  One thing that's become abundantly clear over the past three seasons is that you can't ever count this team out.  If they win tomorrow, they'll have erased a six-game deficit in the standings in just two weeks.  That's what happens when you play excellent baseball.  And, wow, is this shaping up to be an excellent race for the division title.

Rockies Top Three

1.  Brad Eldred
: On a night when the Rockies were doing very little with runners on, the big fella delivered with a two-run shot that put the game out of reach (what with the way Hammel was pitching.)

2.  Jason Hammel: Yeah, Hammel scuffled a bit in his last inning out there, but all in all it was a solid start.  But seriously, two hits to Yorvit Torrealba?

3.  Melvin Mora: Tracy must feel vindicated about his decision to bat Mora and his .669 OPS cleanup tonight.  Mora came through with his first homer of the year, which gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead.

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