Uh-oh. Oh, no. 0-4.
The Rockies’ objective always is to play meaningful games in August and September.
Their goal should have been loftier – to WIN consequential games in those two months.
The Rox haven’t had a winning month in August (12-15), September (10-10) or even July (12-12).
So, their most meaningful game could occur in October, and that wouldn’t be the wild-card play-in game.
On the first day of October, the Rockies will be playing their last regular-season game – against the Dodgers, of all people – at Coors Field, while the Broncos will be playing a very meaningful game, too, down the road at Mile High Stadium against the Raiders, of all people. Southern California and Northern Colorado converge in Denver to try to rip the hearts out of the local teams in West Division confrontations in baseball and football.
The Rockies are in a predicament now and could find themselves that final Sunday afternoon in a serious pickle of Win Or Stay Home.
The Rockies have lost four in a row to the woeful Padres and Giants, and six of their last eight, and go into the game Friday in San Diego with the possibility again of being tied for the second playoff spot in the National League.
All that’s saving the Rockies this week is that the Brewers have lost on a walk-off and then lost in an extra inning to the Cubs Thursday night even though they had the lead with two outs and two strikes on the hitter in the top of the night.
The Rox may not want to look now, but the Cardinals suddenly have burst back because of the combined ineptness of the two teams ahead of them.
And the Cardinals have experience in these late-season playoff races.
The Rockies and the Brewers have none.
Here are the records of the three on Friday morning:
Rockies, 82-71 (and 5-5 in last 10 games).
Brewers, 81-72 (6-4).
Cardinals, 80-72 (6-4).
One and a half games split them. If the Brewers and Cardinals were hotter, the Rockies would be quite cold. As it is, the "winner" of the second wild card spot could be the team that is not such a loser in the last nine (Rox and Brew Crew) or 10 (Cards).
If one team can win eight, it’s probably in, and the others are out.
Two teams could tie and have their own ‘’pre-play-in’’ game. It’s not very likely all three would tie and play round-robin because of one significant factor.
Milwaukee and St. Louis finish the regular season with a three-game series at Busch Stadium.
Here are the full remaining schedules for the three teams:
Rockies – Three more games in San Diego, three at home against the Marlins and the final three in LoDo against the Dodgers.
Brewers – Three more against the Cubs in Milwaukee, three at home against the Reds and the three in St. Louis.
Cardinals – Three in Pittsburgh vs. the Pirates, four at home against the Cubs and the home series with the Brewers.
Who has the advantage?
The Rockies cling to the slight lead. The Padres are putrid (although they won the last game in Denver and the Thursday night game in San Diego). The Rockies have been shut out in their past two games, are as tight as a closed industrial-strength vise and can’t hit (and Petco Park being a pitcher’s park doesn’t help matters).
The Marlins are playing for nothing, but Giancarlo Stanton is playing for something. He has 56 home runs and is Roger Maris territory. He has hit 10 home runs previously at Coors Field. And one 500-foot shot may have been the longest ever at the ballpark. By next Wednesday afternoon he could be going for No. 61 or 62. (He’s projected, by advanced analysis, to slam two in Denver.)
Tickets are available. You might want to join the fun because of the Rockies’ race and the Stanton situation.
And the Dodgers are supposed to be playing for nothing because they’ve already clinched first and the best record in the National League.
Yet, the Dodgers have on Friday just one more victory (97-96) than the Indians, and the World Series extra game will be determined on record, not the All-Star game result, this season. Those two certainly can meet, although the Dodgers have been on descent while the Indians went on a record victory streak.
The Dodgers may need all three victories against the Rockies and won’t just show up. And they are scheduled to pitch Clayton Kershaw, Yu Darvish and Alex Wood. Kershaw could be going for his 19th triumph.
The Rockies’ "magic number" is 13, but that actually signifies zero. You’ll just have to watch the scoreboard every day.
This is meaningful time, and the Rockies can’t be 0-fers.