Jim Tracy was talking a few minutes ago about Todd Helton's resurgence at the plate.

"He's beyond being in a good place," said Tracy. "He's in a great place."

Unfortunately, the place Helton finds himself tonight is the Rockies' bench. Helton's back felt stiff after Wednesday night's game, the result of a hard slide at second base. His condition isn't serious, but Tracy isn't taking any chances.

Jason Giambi will start at first base against right-hander Joe Blanton. Giambi has struggled for most of the season, witness his .125 (3-for-24) average against right-handers. But Tracy is confident that the 40-year-old veteran is close to making his presence felt.

"The swing he's looking for, it will show up, believe me," said Tracy. "He's one good swing away from saying to himself, "There it is.' That's how a good a hitter he's been over the years. That's how much he understands himself and his swing."