Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Winning Ways
2008-06-11 20:52
by Mark T.R. Donohue

The Rockies are on fire, suddenly, and have enough of their first-string players back now that the TV announcers are talking enthusiastically about how many games back the team is in the division. Is it time to get back on the hope train?

That would depend on how many more sustained runs of good starting pitching Colorado gets. Tonight's stunner of a no-decision from Ubaldo Jimenez continues a welcome new trend of the team getting starting pitching that actually contributes positively to them winning. Aaron Cook's having a career year and it's wonderful to see the real Jeff Francis back (even if only for brieft visits), but it's Ubaldo's immediate future that makes me most concerned. It doesn't appear as if the franchise's dependence on pitchers the age of Jimenez or younger is going to end any time soon, so we need a positive case that the organization can bring its draftees and young signings along quickly and safely. If Jimenez isn't broken, then Franklin Morales probably isn't either, and Greg Reynolds isn't going to get irreparably damaged. The Rockies know they're not going to win with the Jorge De La Rosas and Mark Redmans of the world, but it remains to be seen whether they can build a rotation entirely around young, homegrown pitching.

Colorado pulled out this one tonight on a dropped ball at home plate, with Garrett Atkins scoring the winning run off of Yorvit Torrealba's sac fly. On a drive earlier in the inning by Jeff Baker, Atkins held up at third with nobody out. I was thinking at the time that it might be a suitably gut-wrenching point for another losing streak to begin. But indeed fortune was smiling upon the Rockies this night, if few recent others.

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