The Week That Was
A 1-2 week against the Reds. The Rox currently stand at 50-41. Four games back from division leading San Diego in second place. Currently 31-16 at home and 19-25 on the road, the Rox have outscored its opponents 434-396 (expected wins is 49 versus historical wins at 42). On pace for 89wins with 773 runs scored and 705 runs against. Playoff indicator (Runs scored/Runs Against ratio) is 1.10 (>1.16 indicates high playoff potential).
With 90 games in the books, we have completed the 5th 18 game stretch. This stretch we really won some games we didn't deserve especially against St Louis. We should have only one eight but with these wins are record is more in line with expected W/L record. Rox certainly scored a lot of runs this stretch but also gave up a lot. Starting pitching kind back to earth yet the bullpen kept the team in there allowing the offense to win a few. Fowler came back with a vengeance, guess he didn't like Colorado Springs all that much (me neither!).
All Star Game and Second Half Start
Relatively quiet All Star game. The Year of the Pitcher continues. Jimenez make the Rox look good going two innings. Nothing flashy just a well pitched two innings. The National League went on to win after McCann's double plated the winning runs. Interesting side note was that many believe McCann wasn't deserving of an All Star nod (and thus wins the MVP award). So if things had played out, it could have been Olivo in there and then what would have happened? Hopefully the same result which still would have brought the National League home field advantage. So with Jimenez starting the All Star game, I wondered how many pitchers started an All Star game and then went on to start Game 1 of the World Series. Quite a few actually as the table below shows. The last was 1998 with David Wells. Also in 1939 both All Star pitchers wound up pitching Game One of the Series.
With 74 games remaining what needs to happen for the Rox to make the playoffs?
1) Jimenez and Hammel need to continue pitching lights out. De La Rosa needs to get back into the grove and Cook or Francis need to find some innings.
2) Consistent bullpen with Betancourt and Street closing down the 8th and 9th inning.
3) Healthy Tulo return
4) Line up consistency
5) Helton riding the bench and whoever at first gaining some production
Right now I think the team is borderline playoff material. They have shown some instances of being a good team but inconsistency between the pieces (one day good pitching, no hitting, one day hitting but bad bullpen...) has kept this team from gaining on the Padres. I think at this point we can safely say the wheels aren't going to fall off the Padres so Rox need to start winning, a lot! No Wild Card, let's be greedy and win the West!