Rockies can become contenders, not pretenders, in Dodgers series

Fears that the Colorado Rockies might turn their win streak upside down after losing for the first time in twelve games to the Tampa Bay Rays on June 16 proved unfounded in a major (league) way. The next day, the team began a stretch of fourteen games in fifteen days, with nine of those contests on the road -- and I felt that a record of 8-6 over this span would prove the Rockies had transcended flukiness. By that standard, the verdict is already in. Thanks to a masterful performance by pitcher Aaron Cook yesterday, the Rocks swept the Oakland A's (and former hometown hero Matt Holliday) for their ninth triumph in eleven tries, with three games still to go.

But if this swing is already in the plus column, the upcoming three-day throwdown against the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers can either put either an exclamation point or a question mark on the squad's revival. Simply put, if the Rocks get swept, they'll know they still have some work to do before reaching an elite level. Ditto if they win one of three, although to a considerably lesser degree, particularly if they're competitive in each match. Two of three and their confidence will be squared, not just multiplied. And another road sweep? Frankly, that's too much to hope for -- but so was their turnaround since Jim Tracy took over as manager from Clint Hurdle. And look how that's worked out.

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