"Tulo is Colorado's second-half sunflower" via Alex Remington

What is it with these Rockies? Every year, it seems like they make one of these late stretch runs, and Troy Tulowitzki catches fire. On July 27, they were 51-49, eight games out in the division. Then Tulowitzki came back from the disabled list and hit everything that moved. Now, they're 77-64, just 2.5 games back of the Padres and Giants and Tulowitzki is en fuego again, hitting two more homers last night.

The Padres' 10-game losing streak, of course, did a lot to breathe life into the Rockies' playoff chances, but if we've learned one thing over the last four years — since the 2007 miracle and the disappointing 2008 campaign when Tulo only played 101 games — this team goes as Tulowitzki goes.

You're my boy, Blue!: Tulowitzki owns one of the most extreme first half/second half splits in baseball, with a .784 career OPS before the All-Star Break and a .925 career OPS after.

This year, despite missing 33 games due to a wrist injury — which often saps ordinary humans of their power — he's on another one of his routine second-half tears, nearly identical to his second-half performance last year. This year he's hitting .359 with a 1.090 OPS since the break; last year, he hit .344 with a 1.042 OPS after the break.

Overall, compared to last year, he has a much higher batting average and BABIP and many fewer homers, but his overall OPS is almost exactly the same. The Rockies dodged a bullet with his wrist injury, because his power production seems to have been unaffected by the DL stint. It was his third DL trip in the last three years, though. So as much as they want to ride him into the playoffs, for his future sake, they may want to remember to give him a day or two off.

Carlos Gonzalez may be the MVP of the team (and arguably the National League), but Tulowitzki is Colorado's heart and soul (and arguably still its best player, thanks to his stellar D at shortstop). As he goes, so goes the team. He may not be exactly fragile, but his health is paramount to the team's future. As long as he's healthy, he'll hit — and the Rockies will win