The National League playoff field is set.
With today’s 9-2 beatdown of the Milwaukee Brewers, the Colorado Rockies clinched their second playoff berth in three years. The St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and now the Rockies will represent the National League in the 2009 postseason.
It’s been a crazy year for the Rockies. In the offseason, they traded arguably their best player in Matt Holliday and lost arguably their best pitcher in Jeff Francis to a shoulder injury.
Those losses, coupled with an 18-28 start to the season left many, including myself to believe that 2009 would be a lost season in Colorado. Ah, but baseball is a long season.
The Rockies fired manager Clint Hurdle, replaced him with Jim Tracy, and the Rockies haven’t looked back since. The hiring of Jim Tracy was just one of the reasons for the Rockies resurgence.
Here are some other reasons for the Rockies turnaround…
- The return of “Tulo.” 2008 was just a miserable year for Troy Tulowitzki. But the heart and soul of the Rockies has responded with a MVP performance in 2009. Tulowitzki has put up a .299/31/90 hitting line with a .380 OBP and a .933 OPS. And of course, Tulowitzki has played his usual stellar defense at short.
- The health of their starting rotation. Jorge De La Rosa, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jason Marquis, and Jason Hammel all made 30+ starts for the Rockies in 2009. Aaron Cook was the only pitcher not to make 30 starts and he made 27. Impressive.
- Huston Street. Street was a throw-in in the Matt Holliday trade and all Street has done is save 34 games in 2009. He has stabilized the bullpen for the Rockies.
The Rockies go into the 2009 postseason with as good of a chance to the represent the National League as anyone. I think they are the most complete team in the NL. If you can name we a weakness on this team — I would love to hear it.
While the Rockies have clinched the Wild Card, they could still win the division. The Rockies are two games behind the Dodgers and play the Dodgers for three games in LA.
If the Rockies sweep, then they are division champs and could possibly have the best record in the NL. Oh the humanity.
It’s been a great season for the Rockies. It’s shaping up to be Rocktober in Colorado yet again.
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