To prepare for the coming series against the Rockies, we sat down with one of their top team blogs, Purple Row, to discuss the coming series. Here is what Purple Row had to say:
The Nats Blog: Earlier in the year when the debate raged about whether or not to fire National manager Manny Acta, many cited the Rockies Clint Hurdle as the perfect example of a good manager who needed to be removed because he was no longer effective. Do you think his removal is the reason for the Rockies resurgance?
Purple Row: Hurdle's removal was the sine qua non of the Rockies' turn around, but I'm not sure I'd ever classify Hurdle as "a good manager who . . . was no longer effective." Was he ever a good manager? Was he ever effective? For the most part, I'd answer both with a "no." His reign was far too long, and even with the events of Rocktober, he wasn't the most influential person in all of it.
The Nats Blog: In a recent article you pose the question, “Who would you rather have – Ubaldo Jimenez or Johan Santana,” that is quite the comparison, but a good one. How good do you think Jimenez can and will get?
Purple Row: One of my fellow writers, Poseidon's Fist, actually posed that question. But yes, it's a good question to ask. I think U-Ball has the makings of a legitimate ace--provided he doesn't let walks turn into a problem. With a fastball that can reach 99, this is the guy the Rockies have missed since their inception. If this season has truly been a turning point for the Rockies, Jimenez is helping to lead the charge.
The Nats Blog: The Rockies find themselves in pretty good position to win the wild card at this point in the season. How big of a threat do you consider the Marlins and Cubs are to challenge for the fourth playoff spot?
Purple Row: I think the Marlins pose a serious challenge, especially after their recent series victory over the Rockies this weekend. As for the Cubs, that's a sinking ship. The Cubs will need to wait another year.
The Nats Blog: What is one need that you wished the front office addressed before the deadline that you didn’t see happen?
Purple Row: The Rockies did pretty much what I expected them to do: acquire relief help (Rafael Betancourt, Joe Beimel). I still wish they had traded Garrett Atkins, but he's not entirely dead weight as of late.
The Nats Blog: What do the Rockies need to do to be successful in this coming series against the Nats?
Purple Row: Though not much recently, the Rockies have played to the level of their competition. The pitching has bolstered the Rockies the entire season, so as long as that holds the team should win at least two in this series, even if the bats go into a funk.