04/30/2008 2:23 PM ET
Garrett Atkins: Rockies will pick up pace
Third baseman hitting well as many teammates struggle
We haven't really played well in all aspects of the game yet. We seem to hit well some days, and we seem to pitch well other days. We can't seem to get both parts on track at the same time. We just haven't done the little things that good ballclubs seem to do to consistently win games. But I'm confident we will, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Our slow start doesn't have anything to do with winning the National League pennant last season. We've turned the page from a year ago. Once the celebrations took place during the opening homestand, we were done with that. We quickly got back to the routine of playing baseball every day. Our focus is on doing the things that will make this year successful as well.
Actually, we don't want to be like last year's team. Last year, we had to come back late in the season to get into the playoffs, and we don't want to put ourselves into a position where we will have to duplicate that. You don't want to dig yourself a big hole, but it's difficult with the way Arizona is playing right now.
As for me, I'm feeling pretty good at the plate right now. I don't think I'm in midseason form yet, but I'm seeing the ball well on a day-to-day basis. The ball has been falling in for me a lot lately, so I'm happy in that regard.
When you're going like this, you sort of wish that you could bottle it up. To feel this way the entire season would be great, but it's a long haul and your swing comes and goes. I try to keep things as simple as possible and repeat it as often as I can.
When things are going well like this, the game feels like it's a bit easier. But when you've played the game as long as I have, you know that things can change quickly, so you keep reminding yourself to work harder.
It's a fickle game. When you're swinging the bat well and some guys around you aren't, you know that they will come out of it soon, and, at the same time, you know that sooner or later, you'll struggle for a while.
I struggled at times last year, and I will probably struggle at some point this year. It's just a part of the game. Unfortunately, when the struggles happen early on, they seem to get magnified, and it can be frustrating.
The key is to remember that it is a 162-game season and that you should believe in your abilities. Then it can all turn around for you and your team.
Garrett Atkins, the third baseman for the defending NL champion Rockies, is riding a 14-game hitting streak, the longest current hitting streak in the Majors. He's hitting .375 with five homers and 15 RBIs during the run.