The Colorado Rockies have really come together over the season’s final week and their magic number to clinch the final available playoff spot sits at two. Taking two out of three from the Miami Marlins at Coors Field really helped this young and scrappy squad, and the weekend could finally see all of those efforts pay off.
But the race is far from over and if bad luck knocks on the Rockies’ door, the team’s playoff hopes could disappear in the blink of an eye.
Where the Rockies stand now
Colorado has a day off today after winning their previous two games against the Marlins. Yesterday featured six strong innings by ace Jon Gray in what was ultimately a 15-9 victory, but Gray was not the real star of the show.
That honor belonged to Ian Desmond, whose first year of a five-year, $70 million deal was marred by injury. That was not the case yesterday as Desmond launched a three-run home run in Colorado’s six-run second inning. Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story added RBI singles in the same frame and the Rockies never looked back despite a late Miami charge.
This day off will be far from a restful one, however, as Colorado will surely tune into tonight’s tilt between the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds. Milwaukee is 2.5 games behind the Rockies for the coveted wild card spot and suffered a devastating 6-0 loss to the Reds last night, meaning that a win will put them within two games tonight.
The road ahead
The good news for the Rockies is that the odds are on their side. They close out the regular season at home with three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the NL West champs will surely rest most of their star players with home-field advantage already clinched. The Dodgers may also play starters in hopes of securing home0field advantage for the World Series, but manager Dave Roberts could also surely do this while also just playing them a select number of innings. This should provide the Rockies every opportunity to punch their ticket to the NL Wild Card game against the Arizona Diamondbacks next week, but only if they stay focused and don’t get cocky.
The Brewers have a tougher road ahead if they want to spoil the Rockies’ chances. Milwaukee heads to Busch Stadium tomorrow for three games against the St. Louis Cardinals, who are a loss away from being eliminated from the Wild Card race. Going up against a deep and talented team playing for practically nothing, the Brewers could soon find themselves on the golf course unless they fully lock in for their final four games.
Either way, one thing is certain. The Rockies’ momentum doesn’t appear to be going anywhere with a low magic number and the playoffs within reach, so they are indeed a team to watch going forward.
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