The halfway point in games played for this 2013 season, and for the Rockies, the results have been more good than bad. By many, the NL West is dismissed because each club’s record is right around the .500 mark. While break-even is not the desired result, consideration must be made to what the other divisions have from top to bottom.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have the best record in the league, and the Bucs deserve praise for their success. Consider, however, that Clint Hurdle’s club is 24-13 within its division, thanks in no small part to a 14-6 mark vs. the Cubs and the Brewers, teams with the records well below .500. The St. Louis Cardinals are 12-4 against those two clubs, while the Cincinnati Reds have fared even better going 15-4 when tangling with Chicago and Milwaukee. It’s the same way in the NL East where the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals have fashioned +.500 records by beating up on the struggling New York Mets and Miami Marlins.
My point is that a division may not seem as strong, at least in terms of wins and losses anyway, because of all the games played within its group. A team plays 19 games against each of the other teams in its division. Just consider the last place teams in each division. Who would you rather play 19 times? The Los Angeles Dodgers or the Miami Marlins? The Milwaukee Brewers? The evenly matched nature of the NL West could prevent a Wild Card team from emerging out of the division, but that doesn’t’ mean the caliber of the teams in it isn’t strong.
The Rockies and their fans have every right to believe they will be in the playoff chase—a healthy roster is imperative—and that’s all anyone can ask from a baseball season. As for any roster tweaking, that will depend on the performances of Roy Oswalt and Drew Pomeranz over the next several weeks in terms of starting pitching, as well as the work from the front end of the bullpen. Don’t be surprised if the Rockies add Xavier Nady to their bench in the next week or so. Nady is a veteran righthand bat who can play first base and some outfield. The club could use a pinch hitting power threat from the right side beyond Willin Rosario on those days when he is not in the starting lineup.
With his Under the Dome adapted for television this summer, I thought my CHECK IT OUT for this blog would have to do with Stephen King. Recently finished reading 11/22/63, and I found it very enjoyable. It’s a different premise than the typical horror approach King likes to take, and I found myself absorbed from the first page. The ability to mix history with fantasy is well handled. It makes for an excellent summer read.