So, I know there are still 21 games left in the season and I might be getting ahead of myself but now that the Rockies are 21 games above .500 and have won 7 games in a row, I am feeling a little confident. The Rockies, who beat the Reds this afternoon 5-1 just wrapped up a 10 game home stand and went 9-1. Thats an exceptional record for any team. With that 9-1 homestand they are currently 2.5 games behind the Dodgers for the division title and 4.5 games up on the Giants for the Wild Card. Their record is 81-60! They now have 7 more series this season. They are as follows:
*3 games @ San Diego- I think the Rockies need to take two out of three in this series, San Diego has had a rough season so far but they have started to play decent baseball as of late, so the Rockies should not head into San Diego tonight thinking they are facing a bad team.
*3 Games @ San Fransisco- The Rockies wrap up their season series against the Giants in San Fransisco. The Rockies, who got swept not that long ago in San Fransisco need to focus on their lead in the Wild Card and try to aviod the sweep once more. As long as they win one game they should be ok, but if Tim Lincecum is still hurting the Rockies need to take serious advantage of that. This is a big series and the Rox need to treat it as such. (The Giants have to play the Dodgers, Rockies, Dodgers, the next three series, so who knows, if they faulter they could be done in by the next 9 games)
*3 games @ Arizona- The Diamondbacks are another team like the Padres, they have had a rough and long season so far but a lot of their injuries are now healthy and they are starting to play a lot better. Any game when Dan Haren is on the mound is tough one for the opposition. The Rox will also be finishing their season series against Arizona in hostile territory but with a 9-6 record against the D-Backs gives me hope we can take 2 out of 3 from them and finish strong, a sweep might be crutial at this point but I am kind of hoping for the Giants and Dodgers to really beat each other up during these first 9 games towards October baseball.
*3 games vs. San Diego- The Rox return home to finish their season series against the Padres, A sweep would be nice, as well as probable, but 2 out of 3 is a successful series.
*3 games vs. St. Louis- WOW! The Cards have been on fire since they aquired Matt Holliday, and he will have his first trip back to Denver since we traded him last year. If we have to go up against Adam Wainwright who is the league leader in wins with 18, I think we are in trouble. I still think we will need to win this series, and take 2 out of 3 from them to ensure a playoff birth but this will be our second hardest series left. Lets not forget that Pujols has 48 home runs at the moment, and I suspect that he will hit atleast two in Denver. Our offense has to be wide awake for this series.
*3 games vs. The Brewers- Although their season is pretty much done, the Brewers are still a very good team. You might notice a trend but we need to win the series and at least two out of three at home. Beware Fielder, and Braun cause they can really ruin a playoff run (just ask the 2007 Padres). I'm suprised that they are not in playoff contention. Thank Holliday moving to St. Louis.
*3 Games @ L.A. Dodgers- This is the biggest and hardest series we face the rest of the season, although it could be completely irrelevant as well, I would put money on the chance that these are big games, and could possibly result in either team winning the division or even making the playoffs. I have no idea what we will need to win this series and the Dodgers have had our number this year but the smell of the division title might just fuel the Rockies past them and into October. 2 out of 3 might be necessary, maybe even a road sweep, but thats unlikely to happen.
So, I have the rockies going 13-8 in the rest of the season (94-66), which should be enough for the wild card and possibly the NL West. It would be the best the rockies have ever finished in their history, but here comes the real question:
Once we make the playoffs can we win?
Lets say the Rockies win the Wild Card, I will assume St. Louis finishes with the best record in the NL so there for we would have to play them in the first five game series. I am not sure that we can take 3 of 5 from the Cards with only two games at home. This is the scariest scenario for me.
OK, so now lets say that the Rockies win the Division, then we would most likely play the defending champion Phillies. This is also a scary situation because their offense is extremely potent, and their rotation is very solid. On the bright side, we have experience playing them in the playoffs and in case the Phillies forgot, it did not go well for them. If I recall we swept them 3-0 in the first round in 2007. Unfortunetly I think the Phillies are a much better team then in '07 and who knows if our team is capable of getting past them.
If we do get past the first round against either one of these teams I suspect we will just have to play one or the other in the second round. Then a whole other challenge rises up and we will see if the Rockies can get to the World Series twice in three years. I can't wait to find out.