Todd Helton's DNA makes him play until there's an X in the standings. This season has been a huge disappointment, but the first baseman isn't conceding anything despite the Rockies' increasingly long odds of reaching the playoffs.

"The guys better still think we can make it. I am not hobbling around for my own personal numbers," Helton said.

Helton, who turns 38 on Aug. 20, has rebounded from his worst season. He was batting .324 entering Wednesday and led the Rockies with 16 RBIs this month. He extended his hitting streak to nine games Wednesday with his 11th home run, a first-inning blast into the right-field seats off Atlanta's Tim Hudson.

"Players like Todd and (Jason) Giambi don't have to say a word to help us," manager Jim Tracy said. "Guys can learn from just watching how they approach the game and take at-bats."

Problem is the team wasn't designed for Helton to be its most consistent offensive player. Why have things gone so wrong?

"The easiest explanation is injuries. But for some reason, we don't play well with expectations. They kill us," Helton said.

"When we've gone on second-half runs, it's always been when people have written us off, like somehow a huge burden is lifted. That's not a good thing. What is expected of us shouldn't affect our play."

Helton is under contract through 2013. He deferred $13.1 million this season to help the Rockies build a contender.