Colorado Rockies becoming a team to believe in


Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies look like a different team this season.

Yes, the Rockies were 16-11 last season before the season came crashing down but this season’s 16-12 seems different. Colorado sits only a 1/2 game out of first place in the National League West. The Rockies have also won their last four series including the last two on the road.

Colorado will go for a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night at Chase Field.

The main reason the Rockies are off to a good start this season is the MVP-type play of shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. When Tulowitzki is healthy, the Rockies are a different team. The star is hitting .376 which is second on the team to the scorching Charlie Blackmon. Tulowitzki does lead the team with seven home runs and 22 RBI.

And he is doing all this with Carlos Gonzalez stuck in a bad slump. On Tuesday night, Gonzalez had his first multi-hit night since April 9. He is struggling some knee soreness but the outfielder is not using it as an excuse.

It is always a known fact that the Rockies can hit. They lead the major leagues with a team batting average of .295 which is 22 points higher than the second place team in the Detroit Tigers. The next closest in the National League is the Miami Marlins at .260. The bats are alive at the moment.

But again the lineup was always considered powerful and a nightmare to get through. It is even tougher with Justin Morneau and Nolan Arenado hitting the ball. The signing of Morneau looks golden at the moment and Arenado is slowly becoming a star at the plate like he already is in the field.

But the pitching has been doing its job this year. The Rockies pitching staff was never going to be compared the the 1990s Atlanta Braves with Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smotltz but Colorado is keeping  the team in games. With an offense that is hitting at an amazing clip, that is all Colorado needs to stay in the race.

The ERA is not great at 4.16 which sits at 13th in the National League and 20th in the majors. The number seems high but considering what the Rockies have lost in the pitching department it is not too bad. Jhoulys Chacin has not even pitched an inning for the Rockies but his return is close. Brett Anderson, the team’s prized offseason pickup, broke his finger and has made three starts. The ace of the staff Jorge De La Rosa has been up and down all season.

The Rockies are getting contributions from guys like Franklin Morales and Jordan Lyles. Morales was ticketed for the bullpen and Lyles for the minors. They both have three wins to lead the starting rotation.

The Rockies are winning with a powerhouse lineup and a rag-tag pitching staff. That combination has proved successful in the past and Colorado is hoping it is the winning formula once again.

Give these Rockies a look. They are a lot of fun to watch and could be a part of division or wild-card race late into the season.