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Rockies Ride Carlos Gonzalez During Playoff Push

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Rockies Ride Carlos Gonzalez During Playoff Push
August 31, 2010 – 7:00 am by Eric Schmoldt
It was less than two years ago that fans of the Colorado Rockies were debating whether or not trading outfielder Matt Holliday was a good idea. Now, the key prospect the Rockies picked up in that trade will be the reason they make the playoffs if they can cap off a wildcard push.
Carlos Gonzalez has quickly gone from being that other guy in the Matt Holliday trade to a potential National League MVP candidate. He entered Monday amongst the league leaders in just about every hitting category, batting .326 with 29 home runs, 90 RBI and 86 runs. Oh yeah, he’s also stolen 20 bases.
All he did on Monday was come up with the key hit in a Rockies’ rally, a broken-bat triple, before scoring the winning run that brought Colorado within 3.5 games of the wildcard lead.

Carlos Gonzalez joined 104.3 the Fan in Denver with the Drive to discuss his breakout and MVP-caliber season, a game this year in which a late home run gave him the cycle, how the game has slowed down for him this season, what goes through his head at the plate, how he never walks and what it’s like to play for Jim Tracy during a playoff push.
On his breakout season, one which could land him the NL MVP:
“If you look back a few years ago, as a prospect, when you come up from the minor leagues, everyone has all these expectations. You just want to play well and then you put a lot of pressure on yourself because you want to do well and that’s not fun. After that, I realized that I had to continue the way I played my minor league career, just try to have fun and play for my team. … When you win an MVP, it’s not all about you, it’s because your teammates help you, too. If I get the opportunity to win, that’s going to be very special. But for me, what’s more important right now is to try and make things happen like last year, try to get back in the playoffs and play for that World Series.”
On what shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said to him earlier this year after Gonzalez hit a home run to hit the cycle:
“It was neat. I never get tired of watching that home run. It was very special. The whole night was very special for me. All the teammates, especially Tulowitzki who was hitting behind me, he couldn’t believe it. He said it was the most amazing thing he’s ever seen. That’s good to hear from a guy like Tulowitzki who has been in All-Star games and World Series.”
On whether the game has slowed down this year:
“Of course. But it takes a lot of work, too. We don’t feel that way every time, but that’s what we’re looking for. We always work hard every single day, in the cage and at batting practice, just to try and get better every single day. When you work hard … you don’t have to feel any fear when you go up and hit because you have all the confidence.”
On what’s going through his head when he steps to the plate:
“I always bring the same approach to the plate. I’m always looking for something around the plate, around the strike zone. That’s why I had trouble at the beginning of my career, like two years ago with Oakland, because I’d swing at a lot of bad pitches. When I’d try to reach for those pitches, I’d almost get myself out. You just relax at the plate and look for a good pitch and try to make contact.”
On how he barely ever walks:
“When I step up to the plate, I’m not looking for a walk, I guarantee you that. I’m always looking to put the ball in play. If you’re going to challenge me and you’re going to throw me something around the plate, I’m just going to try to hit it hard somewhere.”
On playing for Jim Tracy and the Rockies during a playoff run:
“It’s been fun. Since last year, when I got here, it’s been great. Jim took the spot as manager and that’s when I got called up, like a day later. He’s been trusting of me the whole time. … Even when I was struggling last year at the beginning, he always knew that I was going to be special. I think everything that I’ve done so far, I have to thank Tracy.”
Listen to the interview with Carlos Gonzalez on 104.3 the Fan in Denver here
Tags: Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado Rockies, MLB, MLB Playoffs, MVP candidate, Troy Tulowitzki

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