The Colorado Rockies and reasonable expectations for a tough series in Los Angeles


The Colorado Rockies’ sweep of the San Francisco Giants this past weekend at AT&T Park was important for reasons beyond the sheer enjoyment of watching the Rockies pull out such rare and thrilling victories.

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It took the pressure off the Rockies as they entered an impossibly difficult series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In the big picture, the Rockies cannot reasonably be expected to sweep or even win a series in Los Angeles when the Dodgers’ probable pitchers are Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw. Even the best teams in the National League might enter that series, come away with one victory, and hold their heads up high.

That should be the goal for the Rockies, especially after the sweep in San Francisco. Scrape out a tough win and go home with a 4-2 road trip. That would unquestionably be a success.

Unfortunately that single win will have to come against either Greinke or Kershaw, as Ryu stymied the Rockies en route to a 6-1 Dodgers victory on Monday night.

Even though this hilarious reaction might indicate otherwise, it was a good night for Ryu.

Not to detour off into a humble brag, but I have been fortunate enough through expanded opportunities with the FanSided network to construct weekly MLB Power Rankings. As I put those together, I look at each team’s record from one week to the next in order to update that information. Here’s what I’ve noticed: good teams are good at treading water.

Teams like the A’s, the Giants, and the Tigers go 4-3 and 3-3 many weeks. They might even go 3-4. If you keep track long enough, you will see them eventually go on those 9-1 stretches to set themselves apart, but as far as the grind does, it is a lot of .500 baseball, series wins, and wins to avoid sweeps.

That’s what we need to see from the Rockies here. Play tough, get a tough victory, avoid the sweep and be happy with a series loss if that’s how it works out. Because a 4-2 road trip in San Francisco and Los Angeles is even more important than that five-game winning streak when it comes to recovering from a tough stretch and staying relevant this season.