The Colorado Rockies find themselves in an excellent position to win the National League Wild Card, or at least grab one of its two spots, and they find themselves in that position largely without major offensive contributions from Carlos Gonzalez.
Sure, the one-time perennial All-Star candidate has come through in some interspersed big moments for his club, but those moments have been fewer and farther between than at any other time in his MLB career. Still, Colorado is in the midst of their best season in nearly a decade and suddenly, CarGo is showing all kinds of promise with the bat.
On Saturday, in the bottom of the fifth against Milwaukee Brewers starter Matt Garza, Gonzalez hit his eighth home run of the year. The Rockies already had a solid lead, but what this swing could mean for the final stretch of the season makes it one worth singling out:
Gonzalez is hitting .238/.305/.359 on the year but has been much better over the last 25 games, slashing .309/.340/.447 but still only has two home runs. Seeing him stay back on a ball and not even swing that hard but still end up with a homer should be encouraging to Rockies fans and to Gonzalez himself.
Whether he fully regains the power stroke or not, a Carlos Gonzalez that the opposing team has to fear, even if just a little bit, could be a game changer for the Colorado lineup.