Labor Day weekend means September is here and summer is all but gone. The arrival of autumn brings with it post season baseball. Though the Colorado Rockies won’t be playing any playoff baseball this year, that doesn’t mean September doesn’t matter. As we enter the stretch run, here are ten predictions that Rockies fans can look for.
1- Kid Cuddy: Michael Cuddyer has found the fountain of youth. The seasoned veteran has not only made a home in Colorado, he’s thrived here. For Cuddyer, there would be no better way than finishing a career best season by getting to 20 home runs and finishing with a .330 average. And he’ll do just that.
2- An Ace in the Hole: Jhoulys Chacin struck out nine and gave up just one hit against the Giants through seven innings of work Wednesday night. That gives Chacin 17 quality starts on the season, a team best. He’ll finish the year with 20. Chacin has become Colorado’s most dominant starter and barring any offseason acquisitions will assume that role in 2014.
3-Oh Brohter Where Art Thou: The Rockies bullpen has been nothing short of a disappointment this year. As I sadly predicted in a previous article, Rafael Betancourt played his last game for Colorado last week. Rex Brothers, with his 1.34 ERA has been the lone bright spot in the bullpen this year. He’ll finish the season with 18 saves and set the table for his role as full-time closer position in 2014.
4-Round Trippin’ Tulo: Troy Tulowitzki hit over 25 home runs a season from 2009 through 2011. Despite his time on the DL this year, Tulo will still finish 2013 with 27 home runs and lead all shortstops in that department.
5-De La Winna: Jorge De La Rosa has been the most consistent pitcher in the Rockies starting rotation. His 14 wins are a team best and are third best in the National League. Not only will De La Rosa finish the season as the team leader in wins, he’ll finish in a tie with Adam Wainwright for most wins in the National League with 18 wins.
6-There’s No Place Like Home: The Rockies offense never gets its due credit. You know, with that whole atmosphere thing. That being said and certainly not in support of that argument, the Rockies have scored 343 of their 581 runs at Coors Field. September yields 12 home games for the Rox, but all against better ball clubs. They’ll finish the season under 350 runs scored at home.
7-Pitch Not-So Perfect: I’ve already mentioned the woes of Rockies pitching this season. But just how bad is it? Try a NL second worst team ERA of 4.17 and NL worst batting average against (BAA) of .269. So one must be asking can it get any worse. Well with series’ against the Dodgers, Red Sox, and Cardinals it certainly can, and will. Try finishing the season with a league worst ERA to complement the league worst BAA.
8-Picking On The Little Guys: In September, the Rox have just two series against opponents with a worse record. As fate would have it, they are against divisional rivals San Diego and San Francisco. As of today the Rox hold a two game lead over the Padres and a three game lead over the Giants. With a difficult month that includes Boston, St. Louis, and the Dodgers, the Rox will finish dead last in the NL West.
9-How Sweep It Is: The Rox have been swept in seven series this season. They’ll get swept twice in the month of September, once by the Dodgers and once by the Red Sox.
10-Helton for the Hall: I have made this argument in the past and will continue to fight for Todd Helton’s acceptance into the Hall of Fame. September will be the last month we see Helton swinging his Hall of Fame bat. Over 17 seasons with the Rockies, the 40-year-old has tallied 2,497 hits, 363 home runs, 1,387 RBI, and a career batting average of .317. Thin atmosphere arguers be damned, those are impressive numbers in any altitude. Helton not only finishes his career to a standing ovation both at Coors Field on September 25th and September 29th in LA, but he does so with more than 2,500 hits. And yes, Todd Helton belongs in the Hall.