Holliday stays hot as Rockies sweep
Slugger continues MVP push as Dodgers get dropped
DENVER -- After the Rockies completed a sweep of the Dodgers on Thursday with a 9-4 victory, Matt Holliday sat in an interview room separated from his teammates.It was appropriate -- almost symbolic -- for Holliday to be separated. After all, he's separated himself from all of baseball the last 13 days. Eleven homers in 12 games, including a three-run shot in the second inning Thursday. A home run every 3.2 at-bats. "What's it like for a hitter to be in a zone like that?" someone posed the question to Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. "I was never in a zone like that, so you might have to ask Matt," Hurdle replied. OK. Holliday, what's it like? "To be honest with you, it's a ... you know ... it's kind of funny," he said. "I've never really been on a run like this, where I've hit so many home runs in so many games. It's hard to describe. "Everything feels right. Not thinking about anything other than getting a good pitch to hit and hitting it hard. And you lay off the tough pitches and you're swinging at the good pitches to hit, not missing them." Holliday hasn't missed many all season. He leads the National League with 205 hits, 128 RBIs, 89 extra-base hits, 372 total bases and a .339 average, which is merely tied for first. Holliday's 36 homers are fourth, but he's working on it. "I don't know what more a man would have to do to make a statement, trying to put a foot down in the run for the MVP," Hurdle said. The Rockies have also put their foot down in their attempt to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1995. They've won five straight and are a season-high nine games over .500. Just one big problem. They're chasing the Padres in the Wild Card, and the Padres have won seven straight and remain 4 1/2 games ahead of the Rockies with nine games to go. The two square off in a three-game series in San Diego starting Friday. "They're really making it hard on us," Holliday said. "When they don't lose, it's hard to gain any ground. These three games are what it's going to come down to. We'll probably have to sweep to have much of a chance." Completing a sweep didn't seem too tough for the Rockies on Thursday. Colorado jumped on Derek Lowe (12-13) in the second inning, batting around and scoring six runs on seven hits. Troy Tulowitzki had an RBI double and Brad Hawpe knocked in the final two runs with a double off the right-field wall to go along with Holliday's three-run shot. Hawpe knocked in another Rockies run in the sixth on an infield single, his 101st RBI. The Rockies are the only team in the Majors with three players -- Hawpe, Garrett Atkins and Holliday -- over 100 RBIs. The Dodgers ended a shutout in the seventh and put a scare in the Rockies, scoring four runs. Ubaldo Jimenez (4-4) had bounced back from a poor start last time out, but gave up the first three runs and left after Andre Ethier hit a two-run homer. Andy LaRoche followed with a solo shot against Matt Herges, but then Herges and the Rockies' bullpen settled and shut the door. Tulowitzki answered the Dodgers' back-to-back shots with a two-run homer -- his 22nd -- in the seventh. The Rockies started the series two games back of the Dodgers and are now two ahead, with the Phillies and the Padres ahead of them.
With both the Friars and the Rox on winning streaks, something's got to give. Right?"It means they're due to lose," Hurdle said. "We can't control what they're doing. You've got to give them credit. They're doing what they have to do. We're doing what we have to do and we'll see how it plays out."
C.J. Moore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.