The Rockies have been very bad this season. They almost never win. And yet when I go to their games lately, I see a different face. They keep winning, and Willy Taveras keeps knocking runners in. If you only had the games I've attended at Coors as a data sample, the 2008 Rockies would like they were putting together a very spirited title defense. And you'd think Willy Taveras was Hack Wilson or somebody.
The best thing about going to Tuesday night's game for me was the chance to see Aaron Cook pitch in person for the first time in '08. Cook has been the lone bright spot for the Rockies' pitching staff this year. He's having such a classic Walter Johnson great year for an awful team that -- inevitably -- trade rumors have commenced. The Rockies would be stupid to trade Cook, who's always going to be underrated because he pitches at Coors and he doesn't strike a lot of people out. He's the kind of ace, in other words, that the Rockies could actually afford to sign long-term. Given that few of their other long-term pitching plans have panned out it's highly possible that they can't afford not to hold on to Cook.
Matt Holliday was back in the lineup for the Rockies, leading to the first time in many losses that we've seen Holliday, Brad Hawpe, Todd Helton, and Garrett Atkins all playing together. Colorado keeps doing something when I'm at the games that it seemingly never does the rest of the time. They keep having big innings. Last night they scored four in the second and three in the fifth (and one in the sixth and two in the seventh). With their lineup they were supposed to do that consistently this year, but we haven't seen much of either the ideal lineup or consistency. Clint Hurdle's deep-seated need to tweak things isn't helping matters here. Given the pitching they're saddled with, the Rockies don't really need to worry about offense/defense platoons. They should just play the best hitters they have at every position and try to outclub people. This isn't a permanent winning strategy of any kind, it's just how I think the Rockies have the best chance to be less awful for the rest of this season.
Well, tonight's game is starting. I think I'm going to go watch that.