Earlier today, SB Nation's baseball blogger Jeff Sullivan wrote a first half recap of the 2010 MLB season where he lists the Top 5 NL Contenders. Read it for yourself, not only does it include just one division leader, but it completely ignores the current Wild Card co-leading Colorado Rockies.
Now I'm not going to tear apart his entire article (that's what a comments section is for!) but I am going to list just a few omissions in his piece regarding the Mountain Time Zone's Favorite Team.
If you can't tell, I place a big emphasis on starting pitching in the playoffs...
Sullivan wrote this line to defend the Dodgers as a contender. Last time I checked, they had Vicente Padilla and John Ely as serious question marks in the back end of their rotation. I understand you want three elite starters for a short playoff series, but your team has to survive the marathon before it can reach the actual race. Jeff, if you cared about quality pitching so very much, why not select the team currently ranked by Fangraphs as owning the most valuable starting pitching so far this season? or at least mention that the Rockies have a certain pitcher in Ubaldo Jimenez that NO ONE wants to face in October twice in a short series. Not to mention that De La Rosa fellow... Okay, moving on.
...the Phillies are health and a hot streak away from again being in position to make a whole lot of noise.
If you mention the Phillies, why not also include the other team that lost their leader to injury and is actually ON a hot streak. Perhaps you didn't notice, Jeff, but the Rockies have actually used the injury to Tulowitzki as a rallying call. They aren't waiting to get healthy to make noise, they are making noise simply because they are built on defense and pitching, and the hitting is starting to come around as a team effort. Rockies Baseball: A different hero every night. Time for one more...
[Atlanta] isn't an elite team, but it's a good one.
Then how do you justify placing them on a list above a team that has made the playoffs two out of three years, and has manuevered its way towards a third appearance in four years? That is Yankee level success right there. The Rockies are a playoff appearance from justifying the term "elite" next to their name and yet they aren't good enough to be listed among the Top 5 National League teams at this point in the season?
Perhaps it's time to consider that simply because the Colorado Rockies have hung in the race in spite of injuries and average offensive production doesn't make them a lucky team. Perhaps it's time to consider the fact that this may finally be a Colorado team that will meet the lofty expectations many members in the media expected at the beginning of the season? I'm sorry Jeff, but I simply cannot buy your argument. It's not too late for an addendum to your "list".