Something is in the air at Coors Field. The Colorado Rockies are having a banner year leading up to the All-Star Game. Could 2017 be a repeat of 2007?
The Colorado Rockies made a staff change prior to the 2017 season and hired former San Diego Padres manager Bud Black to take over, hoping that a leadership change would get the team back into the top half of the National League West. It wouldn’t have surprised anyone if the Rockies needed a season or two to make the necessary adjustments. Even the Yankees were envisioning a rebuilding year in 2017, and like the Yankees, the Rockies have been hot this season. Really hot. The Rockies are so hot that something must be in the air at Coors Field.
The NL West is always an interesting division, mainly because it tends to be a match race between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. The real action tends to come from the other three teams and the fight to stay out of the basement.
This year has seen the Arizona Diamondbacks, under the leadership of new manager Torey Lovullo, surge out front in a match race with the Rockies. San Francisco settled in the basement, much to everyone’s surprise (Madison Bumgarner’s injury didn’t help the already struggling team), and the Dodgers hovered in the middle of the division, shell-shocked by injuries and the solid performances of two teams that weren’t supposed to be as good as they were.
The Diamondbacks’ Lovullo is well versed in getting teams to turn things around (see: Boston Red Sox), but Black hasn’t seen much action after nine years with the Padres. What the heck was happening in Colorado?
As we move toward the All-Star Break, the Rockies are sitting on a 46-26 record. They’re riding a five-game winning streak with an impressive 21-13 home record. That’s pretty good for Coors Field, where we know a well-hit ball can fly into orbit. What’s even more impressive, however, is their 25-13 record on the road. The Rockies are playing well at home and away from home, the sign of a true champion.
The Rockies and their fans are enjoying some solid (and fun) baseball moments. Nolan Arenado, who represented Team USA in the World Baseball Classic win over Team Puerto Rico, hit for the cycle on Father’s Day, locking in the achievement with a walk-off three run homer. Outfielder Charlie Blackmon has over 1.5 million votes so far on the All-Star ballot, giving fans someone to root for. It’s an exciting time to be a Rockies fan.
The 2017 season marks the tenth anniversary of the 2007 Rockies team that went 90-73, won the National League pennant, and eventually lost to Boston in four games at the 2007 World Series. Could 2017 be the year the Rockies return to the World Series?
One look at the MLB standings reveals that the top three spots in the NL West are within a single game of each other, with the Dodgers and third-place Diamondbacks hot on the Rockies’ heels. This doesn’t give the Rockies much room for error, but that might be the kind of motivation they need to stay focused until September.
If they keep playing they way they have been, they’ll go deep into October.