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News » Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-08-29

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-08-29

Colorado Rockies Inside Pitch 2008-08-29
The odds are against the Rockies. They are nine games below .500 (63-72), six games behind the Diamondbacks with 27 games to play, and 2 1/2 games back of the Dodgers.

But they aren't being dismissed by the teams in front of them. After last year, the Rockies aren't going to sneak up on anybody down the stretch. They were six games back in both the NL West race and the NL wild-card standings with 27 games remaining a year ago, and they wound up wining the first pennant in franchise history.

"We are fortunate to still be in (the division race) because we have played so poorly, but the fact is we are still in it," right fielder Brad Hawpe said. "We have been in a tough spot before, and we know we responded and did the job, so that gives us reason to be confident about what is ahead."

This could be a critical weekend for the Rockies. While they are playing three games against the last-place Padres, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks are playing a three-game series against each other in Phoenix. That gives the Rockies the chance to make up ground on one of the teams ahead of them during each of the next three games.

The Rockies would seem to have their rotation lined up for a big weekend. Their top three starters have drawn the assignments against the Padres -- Aaron Cook on Friday, Ubaldo Jimenez on Saturday and Jeff Francis on Sunday.

But then the Rockies have been in situations where they had a chance to make a major move several times and have fallen flat. Earlier this month, fresh off a 6-4 road trip, they had a 10-game homestand that began with seven games against the teams with the worst records in the NL -- Washington (four games) and San Diego. They wound up losing seven of the 10 games, dropping three of four to the Nationals and two of three to both the Padres and Arizona.

"Obviously that was not a good statement for a contender, but since I have been here this team has been able to wash off tough losses and come back fresh the next day," first baseman Garrett Atkins said. "We understand it's a long season. We understand you have to forget bad games and show up focused on the next game."

So instead of fading into oblivion after that 3-7 homestand, the Rockies instead have won nine of 12, including seven of nine on the road. They went 5-1 on a trip to Washington and Los Angeles, equaling the second-best road trip in franchise history.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: August 29, 2008

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