Todd Helton is nostalgic. He can't help it. All signs point toward this being his last season. He savors trips to visiting ballparks peeks at the crowd a little more from first base. His reality creates elasticity allowing for his sense of humor to seep through. Before Monday night's game he was watching some old video of his at-bats against San Francisco Giants starter Barry Zito. Helton doubled. "Look that's when I could run" said Helton. Helton's speed has vanished but his hand-eye coordination remains. He continued his march toward 2500 hits with a 407-foot home run that punctuated the Rockies' 6-1 victory over the Giants. Helton who turned 40 last week knows it is a young man's game. He can't do things he used to like lace fastballs into the left-field gap with alarming regularity or spoil a slider with a flick of the bat. But when his swing is on time — something he has sought lost and found for the better part of two decades — the moment creates camera flashes. He belted a sloppy curveball into the Rockies' bullpen — he sits three shy of 2500 — striking a match for the offense that extended Barry Zito's road misery. The Giants haven't won any of the left-hander's last 10 starts away from AT&T Park. He owns a 9.41 road ERA. Opponents have flirted with a .400 against him meaning every hitter is Ted Williams circa 1941. Helton didn't play with the Boston Red Sox star but his cuts would fit nicely in black-and-white film. In a season that has been at times frustrating at times rewarding (when the Rockies were a first-half surprise) Helton has climbed up the all-time doubles list. Helton's future holds a potential finality. Juan Nicasio is trying to distance himself from the past (a horrifying broken neck while pitching) making a push to show he belongs in next spring's rotation. The right-hander's biggest improvement has been avoiding the cataclysmic inning.
Todd Helton homers, Juan Nicasio shines as Rockies defeat Giants 6-1
Denver Post | Aug 27