DENVER -- The slide prompts suspicion, if not outright Rodney Dangerfield Triple Lindys off the purple bandwagon.
Seven seasons without contending saps the reservoir of goodwill. But for everything that has gone wrong for the Rockies over the last three weeks -- a 5-16 record overall and 3-13 on the road -- there remains this: they entered Monday night with a 5.5-game lead in the second wild card standings, while trailing the Diamondbacks by a single game for the top wild card spot.
The Rockies are sliding, but the abyss, unlike in past years, is avoidable, players insist. All-star Charlie Blackmon, who deposited his franchise-record 26th leadoff home run on Monday, explained in an exclusive with Denver7.
"The potential is there. We have seen it. I think we have a lot more depth than we had in the past. We are well-positioned to keep guys well-rested and put guys in position to succeed," Blackmon said. "I think we are in a good position to succeed right now as a team."
That said, the recent slump has heightened awareness regarding this six-game homestand. The Rockies host the San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh for six games. Given their road play over the last month, it remains imperative to build momentum at Coors Field. They jumped out to a 7-2 lead after three innings, caffeinating the audience. All-star Nolan Arenado, in a one-on-one interview Monday, implored the crowds to stay electric.
"Whenever you play at home, you have to take care of business. I feel like at the end of the first half we didn't do a very good job of that," Arenado said. "Hopefully we can clean that up. We are playing meaningful games. We need our fans to be loud. We need them badly. This is an important series, an important homestand. We need their support, and we need to start playing a lot better baseball."
The Rockies own a 26-18 record at home, leaving them on pace to win 48. If they reach 53 wins at home, it would make it easier to articulate a path to the playoffs. The players have noticed the difference this season. It happens when they peek into the third deck.
"I feel like we've been playing before sellouts every game," Blackmon said. "That's important for guys like me and D.J. (LeMahieu), who play everyday and feel the energy from the crowd. Sometimes you get tired at this point of the season. To come home and get that energy boost from the crowd is really great."