It has been quite a turnaround for Colorado. On June 3, the Rockies were 12 games below .500. Heading into last night's start of a three-game set against the Angels, they were 36-33. That was the club's best mark since the last day of the 2007 campaign.
Jim Tracy replaced Clint Hurdle as manager on May 29. Before last night, he had guided the squad to a 16-5 record.
Improved starting pitching has certainly been key in the resurgence. In the team's stretch of 16 wins in 17 games, the starters had compiled a 14-1 record with a 3.54 ERA. Before that streak, they were a combined 15-22 with a 4.63 ERA.
Over the weekend, Tracy gained a measure of revenge as the Rockies swept the visiting Pirates, his former team. With Pittsburgh, the former Cubs outfielder had disappointing records of 67-95 in 2006 and 68-94 in 2007.
The fans' National League all-star voting numbers were released yesterday, and Albert Pujols, with 2,934,794 votes, had moved past Chase Utley (2,922,796) as the league's top vote-getter.
The Cardinals first baseman has put up impressive numbers as of late. Entering last night's matchup with the Mets, he was batting .394 (13 for 33) with 17 RBIs, 11 runs, and 8 home runs over the last 10 games.
Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a bone bruise on his right knee. It is the same injury that sidelined him for a couple of games in late May. The struggling Mets are also without shortstop Jose Reyes (hamstring) and first baseman Carlos Delgado (hip).
Time for High & Inside to check in on an area product toiling in the minor leagues: Carl Loadenthal, a former standout at William Tennent in Warminster.
Loadenthal, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound outfielder for the double-A Binghamton Mets, was batting .239 (44 for 184) with 25 runs, 18 RBIs and 6 doubles through Sunday. The 27-year-old, a lefthanded hitter, had a .352 on-base percentage and a .310 slugging percentage.