© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
DENVER -- Todd Helton, Matt Holliday, Garrett Atkins and Troy Tulowitzki have gone from hearing the question "Who are these guys?" to being the faces of the postseason.
They wrote their resumes with their big bats, but those bats have gone quiet in the postseason. Helton has hit .194. Matt Holliday, a .340 hitter during the regular season, has dropped to a respectable but un-Holliday-like .283. Atkins is hitting .185 and Tulowitzki .179.
As a team, the Rockies led the National League by hitting .280 during the regular season. That number has dropped to .242 in the postseason.
So how in the heck (and in the altitude) have these guys not lost?
"Our offense is doing enough to win," Rockies hitting coach Alan Cockrell said. "We've come up with some really big clutch hits late in ballgames to win games. In that regard, there is no change to what they did over the last three weeks.
"If anything, some inconsistency in playing every day has affected some guys. They've been doing enough to win ballgames, and that's all you want this time of year."
With runners in scoring position, the Rockies have been themselves -- in fact, even better -- at the plate, hitting .283, compared to .276 during the regular season. Atkins has gone 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position, Yorvit Torrealba 4-for-10, and pinch-hitters Seth Smith and Jeff Baker have been perfect. Smith has gone 2-for-2 and Baker 1-for-1.
Thanks to the timely hitting, the Rockies have scored 4.86 runs per game. They averaged 5.28 during the regular season.
Scoring fewer runs in the postseason is no anomaly. Only the Red Sox and Indians have averaged more runs in the playoffs than they did during the regular season.
"I think, obviously, in the playoffs, you face some of the better pitchers -- usually don't see their [No. 4 and 5 starters]," Tulowitzki said. "It's usually their top three. Guys seem to have their best stuff this time of year."
The Rockies' pitchers have had their best stuff, holding opponents to 2.29 runs per game in the playoffs.
"Good pitching beats good hitting, and this time of year, you're not going to find a lot of blowouts because guys are locked in," Rockies reliever Matt Herges said. "We still, in my opinion, have the best lineup in baseball."
The best lineup in the postseason has been the Red Sox, who have scored seven runs per game. They'll match up against the best pitching staff thus far in Colorado in the World Series.
As for the best lineup in the National League, the Rockies feel they'll be back.
"I don't anticipate them going anywhere and not hitting," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "Hitting is contagious. We just need to get it done with those sparkplugs rolling. I think it's just slowing down and trying to get a good pitch to hit, and then just hitting it somewhere hard. The simpler we can keep it, the better off we're going to be. I'm very confident in our offense."