LOS ANGELES – To a Colorado Rockies team that for a half-decade has tended toward the dramatic, it’s happening again.
Hell if they know the cause or the solution – what gets them into these things and what gets them out, why in a game that honors consistency they’re hardly ever the same team twice.
This is their burden or enlightenment, month to month, week to week, sometimes hour to hour, this existence that can’t ever get worse, unless it can’t ever get better.
Through a groggy, crooked grin, Todd Helton says, “If you figure it out, honestly I’d like to know.”
It is the best of teams, it is the worst of teams, all in the same clubhouse, all in the same season, over and again. Delight follows despair, only to be chased off by despair again.
As June breaks, the Rockies are again conflicted.
They are the club that came out 11-2, the early season playing on the bat barrels of Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton, surely with Carlos Gonzalez to follow, and on the arms of Jorge de la Rosa(notes) and Jhoulys Chacin, surely with Ubaldo Jimenez to follow, and the club that immediately and forcefully buried the memory of its disastrous final two weeks of 2010, which killed the exhilaration of the two weeks before that.
In six weeks of baseball, spread from one side of an offseason to another, the variable Rockies were 13-2, then 1-13, then 11-2. In the National League West, over 42 games, they’d gone from 7½ games back to one game back, then from the brink of first to just ahead of fourth, to first again, to – today – tied for third and, seemingly, still falling.
“It would be exhausting,” Helton says, “if we knew we didn’t have the talent to overcome the situation we’re in.”