So much for psychology. The Rockies were crushed 9-1 by the San Francisco Giants on Monday to begin an important three-game series -- and I hopedthe size and scope of the humiliation, coupled with the return of ace pitcher Ubaldo Jiminez to the mound, would result in a Colorado bounce-back
. Instead, Jimenez looked rusty and uncertain in
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that was even more painful to watch than its predecessor, if only because of sheer redundancy. That makestonight's matchup between the Rocks' Jorge De La Rosa and the Giants' Matt Cain
loom even larger than it would have under ordinary circumstances. On Monday and Tuesday, the Rockies looked so much like playoff pretenders -- a squad that folds against good teams on the road -- that they managed to reenergize a Giants club that seemed to be venturing into surrender-Dorothy territory. San Francisco will be just a game and a half back in the wild-card standings with another victory, and the Rocks will have squandered almost all of the advantage they gained during a 9-1 homestand. Even so, the next contest isn't a must-win from mathematically. But from a confidence standpoint, it's mighty close.