Big League Stew

Smith homers, Rockies snap 17-game losing streak on Sundays

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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The Colorado Rockies insufferable Sunday sabbatical is over. For the first time since April 17 — a record streak of 17 Sundays — Rockies fans can celebrate victory on the day that comes between Saturday and Monday.

Securing that elusive victory wasn't easy for the Rockies. In fact, it was looking like another typical Sunday when they batted in the bottom of the seventh inning trailing by a run. As has been the case often, the offense went stagnant against Los Angeles Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley, going without a hit after Carlos Gonzalez's first-inning two-run homer.

But thanks to another surprisingly effective outing from recently signed Kevin Millwood, the Rockies were only one big swing away from grabbing the lead. The swing came from Seth Smith, who after Jason Giambi led the seventh off with with a walk, launched a titanic 458-foot go-ahead homer into the second deck in right-center field.

Watch Seth Smith's moonshot

Troy Tulowitzki added a little insurance with a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and fill-in closer Rafael Betancourt pitched a scoreless ninth to lock up a 5-3 victory, officially ending the longest Sunday losing streak of baseball's modern era.

Thank goodness, Tulo said. {YSP:MORE}

"The worst part was talking about it all the time," said Tulowitzki. "Then you start to think about it. Obviously, we're out there playing and it's in the back of our heads. But it's over with now, and the biggest thing we can look forward to is, we won another series and we'll keep on trying to win more. That's all we can do right now."

Keep winning series, and hope the Arizona Diamondbacks and San Francisco Giants keep getting swept. Since, you know, the Rockies are still eight games under .500 and 9 1/2 games back in the uninspiring NL West. But hey, they've had a couple of decent Septembers in recent seasons, so maybe the stage will be set for something similar this season.

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The mountain wouldn't be so high to climb, Jason Giambi said, if only the team hadn't been so bad on that one day of the week.

"If we had just played .500 ball on Sundays, we would be right there in contention," Giambi said.

He'll to have to get over it, but he does make a good point. If the Rockies — who won their first two Sunday games of the season — had played .500 ball on Sunday rather than .150, they could be 67-61 right now, and only 2 1/2 games back.

I said "could," because it's impossible to predict how differently things would have played out if even one of those Sunday decisions were altered. But the mere thought of where they could stand, compared to where they are, has to be difficult for them to digest.

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