DENVER -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy has one simple mantra -- win a series. "How can you get hurt winning series?" Tracy said. "You can only help yourself. You can't get hurt." The Rockies entered Monday with a chance to win a four-game series vs. the Giants at Coors Field.
Remember that 18-28 start to the season? That's a distant memory because all the Rockies have done is win series after series. Before Tracy took over, the Rockies had won just three of the 16 series they had played in. But they turned around their season and are the National League's Wild Card leaders because they entered Monday having won 15 of 23 series during Tracy's tenure. "We were not going to get anywhere jogging in place, splitting series and losing series," Tracy said. "We weren't. We were not going to get anywhere. We had to continue to look at it from where you're at in the month of June, where you're at in the month of July and where you're at in the month of August. "We had to win series, we had to sweep some series, and if in fact we would've gotten to the point where we were doing that -- which we have done -- then, hopefully, we'll get back and be able to look up at it at some point in time and say, 'We're in a much better place.'" The players have heeded Tracy's mantra and know what winning series have done for them. Veteran Todd Helton said if a team wins enough series, then it should have a good year. Now, it's a part of the team's short-term goals. But baseball is a marathon and winning a series is never easy. It's easier to talk about it than to actually do it. Helton admits a team could get complacent after winning the first two games of a three-game series and let the series sweep get away. "To be honest, it's a challenge sometimes," Helton said. "It's a challenge in everybody's jobs in life. But if you're going to be a good team, you got to get up for the games." They have gotten up and become a good team because of the 15 series wins since Tracy took over, eight have been sweeps. As a result, Helton said he's reinvigorated seeing large crowds, upwards of at least 40,000, at Coors Field. "When people show up and they are into it, it makes it a heck of a lot easier to be out there and be excited," Helton said. "It definitely gives you that little extra boost that you need throughout a long season." As for Tracy, winning series has helped make his mornings much brighter. "It's hard to get up in the morning and look in the paper and look at the standings and see yourself 15 1/2 games behind," said Tracy, referring to the team's largest deficit (June 3) of the season in the National League West race.
Cheng Sio is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.