Todd Helton appeared to be slipping from his role as the face of the Colorado Rockies after the 2010 season. Fans were calling for the Rockies to either ease him into retirement or move him to another team after one of the worst statistical seasons of his illustrious career. This year Helton’s proving everybody wrong, and as the Rox muddle through some funk, he’s back to carrying the load.
Helton drove in the Rockies’ lone run in their 2-1 loss to Philadelphia last night (box score via MLB.com), notching his 20th RBI of the year (more than half the runners he knocked in all of last year). He’s hitting .322 with six home runs and says he’s feeling better after last year’s health struggles: “I am stronger, but there’s some mechanical things that I’ve fixed. I’m definitely stronger mentally. I think that also plays a big part in it” (Associated Press).
Considering Helton is pretty much the only consistent hitter in the Rockies’ lineup right now, it’s remarkable the team is holding strong in the National League West. Wednesday’s loss puts the Rox a half-game behind the San Francisco Giants for the division lead—despite being 4-6 in their last 10 games and winning just one of their last five series.