Hurdle doing his best to maintain focus

Hurdle doing his best to maintain focus

CHICAGO -- As poorly as the Rockies have played, they aren't falling much farther behind in the National League West race. That's because the Diamondbacks, who looked as if they'd spend the entire season flexing their muscles, have won just three of their last 10 games.

So is it bad news that the Rockies didn't make up any ground during the Diamondbacks' swoon, or good news that they aren't much worse off in the division than the 11 games by which they trailed entering Sunday? Keep in mind that in losing the first three games with the Cubs, they had late leads in the first two games and saw a ninth-inning comeback fall a run short on Saturday.

The Rockies have ranged from 10 to 12 games off the NL pace since May 14. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said he is focusing on his club, not the standings.

"There are a couple or three defining moments during a game when everything's right there, and it can go one way or another," Hurdle said. "You make a play; you don't make a play. You make a pitch; you don't make a pitch. You get a hit; you don't get a hit.

"You can't control [other teams]. We need to play better. That's what we need to focus on. You guys [in the media] can focus on all that other stuff. I can't control that. I'm trying to stay focused here to get us to play a good, complete ballgame, [to] win a game and get us some momentum. All that goes back to is a missed opportunity. It depends on how you look at it. I prefer to look at what I need to look at."

Hurdle has had to look at nine different starting pitchers, counting new addition Glendon Rusch's start on Saturday afternoon. which ties the Rockies with the Rangers for the Major League lead in that category. Overall, the 20 pitchers the Rockies have used has them tied with the Rangers and Padres for the most in baseball this season.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.