Tonight, Rockies third baseman/love of my life Garrett Atkins proved why he belongs in the majors.
Recent articles had me speculating if Atkins was going to be traded or sent down to the Triple-A Sky Sox.
Earlier today, my friend called me to wish me luck on my job interview. I told her that my stomach was hurting me, but I wasn’t sure if it was because I was nervous for my interview or because I had just read about the possibility of Atkins heading toward the Springs. Earlier I felt fine, I wasn’t nervous for my interview, I was prepared, and once I read that news, I actually felt sick.
The very name Garrett Atkins used to strike fear into the pitchers he faced. He was the guy who pitchers would walk to get to the five hole. Not the case last night. Last night, Brad Hawpe was walked not once, but twice, so that pitchers could get to Atkins, who struck out both times.
However, tonight was the Garrett Atkins before his season long slump. Tonight was the Atkins that struck fear into the pitchers he faced. Tonight Garrett Atkins played like… well… Garrett Atkins.
When Atkins hit his first longball, I was stoked, practically dancing around like a giddy school girl. FINALLY!! The last time he hit a homer was back in April, April 25th. It was one of the most deserved hits to ever come to a player.
The second homerun, I was elated, euphoric, ecstatic, any other word that is synonymous with those. I was in awe of my favorite player, it may have been just as big of a moment for him as it was for me; most of Colorado may have turned their back on Garrett, but I held the faith. Before this, it was getting to the point where I would have sold my soul to get Atkins back on track. You think I’m joking… I’m not.
Now, by no means is Atkins “cured” of his season long slump, but now he has the confidence that he still has the power to hit a homer. I feel like his problems are similar to those of David Ortiz. The slump that both players have dug themselves into raises the “self-doubt” question in their mind. They know what they need to do, but they’re unable to execute a play, leaving them wondering if they’ll ever get a hit, a double, a homerun, anything. If Atkins keeps this up, he’ll get out of whatever slump he’s in.
The Rockies could’ve lost tonight, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they didn’t. But it was just as important to me to see Atkins hit those longballs. Had they lost, I still probably would have been as excited as I am.
Now, two homers in a game doesn’t by any means really make Garrett Atkins a triple threat. In fact, really, I just tried to use that as kind of a play on words, that’s about as far as my creativity spans. Since his slump, I’ve been reassuring myself that Atkins is just keeping me waiting for that perfect moment where he’ll hit a grand slam or he’ll do like he did today and get two homeruns. I talk about how much I am in love with him, but I really do value Atkins for the player that he is. In his past seasons, he’s never failed to deliver, and his slump this season makes it difficult. Players go through slumps, and it’s because he’s such a big slugger that it’s like he’s not allowed to. But I trust, through thick and thin, that Atkins will get back to his old self and raise his average to above .200. How unthreatening did that just sound? To above .200? Wow…
Tonight, the 10-3 victory over the Astros was a collaboration of the entire Rockies team. Jason Hammel looked great out on the mound; he’s been struggling in the past, but looked great tonight. Run support needed to come from somewhere besides Todd Helton and Brad Hawpe, and it did. Every position player had a hit tonight and every position player played like they wanted a win. Ryan Spilborghs, my other favorite player, hit a longball and tracked down a ball up the hill of Minute Maid Park.
Tonight was exactly what the Rockies needed, a win.
Finally, I’ve been having problems getting online. I was finally able to get online to log into MLBlogs (fortunately, I don’t have to be connected to the internet to just type), had to go unplug and replug my router in order to upload pictures (I actually had to unplug it and plug it back in for each picture), then had to unplug and replug it in again to publish it. I swear I want to read your blogs, but I can’t get online for more than five minutes. Hopefully a new router is on it’s way and then I can catch up on everything I’ve been missing.
Photos courtesy: baseball photos