DENVER -- Though the Rockies' four-game winning streak entering Friday has been forged against a pair of sub-.500 teams, their 7-of-10 winning stretch was forged against pennant contenders in L.A. and San Francisco.
Veteran Michael Cuddyer sees the success as a sign of a slew of young players maturing in an ideal environment. While there is inherent pressure to perform at the big league level, the stakes are not quite as high with the Rockies 26 games under .500
"Guys are getting comfortable," Cuddyer said. "Guys are starting to feel like they belong in the big leagues, which is half the battle when you're a young player -- to feel like you belong and to lose that sense of awe that you're in the big leagues and facing guys that you've been watching on TV over the last few years."
A young offense fueled by the likes of rookies Josh Rutledge at shortstop, Jordan Pacheco at third, DJ LeMahieu at second and Wilin Rosario behind the plate, along with maturing players like Eric Young Jr., Tyler Colvin and Chris Nelson, has kept pace with Milwaukee and Miami through the four-game winning streak, despite having to score more than six runs to win each of the first three games.
"What [our starting pitchers have] done a much better job of is even if the start is not as far into the game as we'd like it to be, they've been able to minimize damage," Tracy noted. "It's not significant damage. You're not trailing by six runs by the time your eight-hole hitter comes up to take his first at-bat. There's a lot to be said for that."