BY LESLIE MONTEIRO
Relief was the operative word after the Rockies finished their 10-game homestand yesterday afternoon.
The Rockies were relieved they salvaged a .500 homestand by going 5-5 in their 6-5 victory over the Brewers at Coors Field.
The hitters are relieved they played a role in this victory for once after failing to get the key hits during this homestand.
It has been frustrating for the Rockies’ hitters. They received criticism for their poor performance, and they take it to heart knowing that they are trying with no results to show for it. It got to the point where it took a toll on them whether they want to admit it or not.
It’s natural for hitters to feel that way. They don’t want to waste great performances from their starters by being inept at the plate. That gets them to try too hard, and that becomes frustrating when it does not work out.
Hitting a baseball is easier said than done. There are so many good pitchers in the National League that the Rockies are facing, and it hasn’t worked out for the Rockies’ hitters.
Dexter Fowler, Michael Cuddyer, Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki haven’t played well, and that’s why the Rockies are having hard time winning games.
Fowler and Tulowitzki are still trying to get back in the groove after being on the disabled list.
Gonzalez has been nursing a sprained finger for awhile, and it has affected his performance at the plate. He did not play this weekend, and chances are good he will be on the disabled list since his finger continues to affect the way he is swinging the bat.
Cuddyer has grounded into double plays or flied out since the post-All-Star break.
When the stars don’t play like stars, it’s going to be hard to score runs.Yesterday was a different story. Everything clicked for Tulowitzki, Cuddyer and Fowler.
Tulowitzki hit a home run in the first inning, and he scored the tying run on Cuddyer’s double in the eighth inning.
Cuddyer tied the game couple of times in the game. He tied the game at 3 by hitting a home run in the sixth inning, and he tied the game at 5 in the eighth inning.
For good measure, Cuddyer scored the game-winning run in the eighth inning when Nolan Arenado hit a RBI single.
Fowler hit his 12th home run in giving the Rockies a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning.
To say all those four guys needed this performance is an understatement. It’s been so long since they created good moments for the Rockies like yesterday.
Tulowitzki hasn’t given the Rockies the spark that they thought he would give once he came back on the disabled list. He takes good at-bats, and he gets on base. That said, he is being paid to drive in runs and hit home runs. That hasn’t happened frequently.
It’s not surprising he hasn’t. It takes time for baseball players to get back to where they are after being on the disabled list. Keep in mind he might still be playing in pain. It takes an offseason to have an injury completely healed. For him to gut it out there while he is hurting, that should be commended.
Same can be said for Fowler, who is 6-for-35 at the plate.
Cuddyer does not have the disabled list excuse to explain his struggles. His problem is that he is such a streaky hitter. He can be great for a month as he demonstrated with his 27-game hitting streak, and he can go through a drought that last for a long time as he is doing now.
He knows he has to drive in runs, not ground into double play. One of the things he needs to do is grind out good at-bats for him to do that as he did yesterday. He hasn’t done that outside of yesterday.
The Rockies’ stars feel they are on the verge of breaking out. They can only hope yesterday will set the tone for good things. It has to happen for them with the Rockies starting a 10-game road trip tonight. If the Rockies want to win five or more games on this trip, the onus is on them to produce.
Yesterday’s offensive performance provides respite for the stars, but they know they have to sustain this.
That’s why it was more of a relief than a celebration in the locker room. They know one good game can only go so far.
It’s about doing it again.
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