In the Rockpile: AL Central teams aren’t Rockies fans

Colorado outfielders Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez and Seth Smith celebrate last Friday's 13-6 victory over Detroit. (Karl Gehring/ The Denver Post)

I don’t know how anyone could not like interleague play. The Rockies have sure enjoyed it so far, as well. What’s not to like when you’re team takes two-of-three from the Detroit Tigers and then grinds out the first game of the series against the Cleveland Indians? Interleague play-wise, the Rockies hold a sub .500 record (103-106), but in recent history, they have done better.

Last year, I got to see a win against the Red Sox. I will say I do like watching Boston sports, and I’m a bit envious of their success. The Red Sox earned a Commissioner’s Trophy in 2007, but it was nice to high-five Rockies fans around me as Todd Helton ripped a single to drive in Chris Nelson for the first run of the interleague game at Coors Field — the first rematch of  former World Series opponents. It was great to lean over my friend and his dad, both Boston-export Sox fans, to slap hands with Rockies fans after they beat Boston at a sold-out yard amid a strong showing from Red Sox nation.

Last weekend’s Tigers series had manager Jim Leyland choking down some Marlboro’s in the dugout again. The second inning of last Friday’s game wasn’t particularly good for Jim’s lungs after the Rockies jumped out to a 6-1 lead thanks to five hits and two walks off Detroit’s Rick Porcello, highlighted by Chris Nelson’s eventual game-winning, three-run shot. The Tigers failed to rally — losing 13-6 — and the next day, Ubaldo Jimenez got his second win, during a 5-4 squeaker, but not before leaving early in the sixth because of dehydration.

The interleague express rolled into Cleveland for three on Monday and the Rockies got the first game in a grind-it-out win led by Jason Giambi. His three-run shot is why having him on the roster is huge. His previous AL experience proves more useful when he isn’t pinch hitting alone, but getting in the DH spot and getting his fair share of shots at the plate.

Interleague games are good for baseball because they helps sift out tired baseball matchups. For me, those boring series are against the Dodgers, D-backs and Padres. Give me quality matchups against some of the best teams. This week’s trip to Cleveland and New York fits the bill, and I look forward to watching the Rockies face unfamiliar foes.

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