So are the Rockies done yet? With Saturday's loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the game's heartbreaking walk off home run seemed to be the gut punch rip-your-heart-out end of the season.
However, the Rox bounced back on Sunday with a win and split the road series at 2-2.
This Monday morning we find the Rockies in third place in the NL West 6.5 games behind the San Diego Padres, and in fourth place in the NL Wild Card race at 4.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants. The first thing to notice here is that both teams the Rockies are chasing for a playoff spot are divisional rivals.
With the Phillies and the Cardinals ahead of the Rockies in the Wild Card race right now, the road to the playoffs might be easier going through the NL West. This is mostly due to the multiplier effect of having teams between the Rockies and the Wild Card leading Giants.
But it also has to do with the matchups. The Rockies have one game to play against the Phillies with a one game makeup in Coors Field on Thursday, September 2. The Rockies close the season out with a four game road series in St. Louis.
The key to a playoff spot for the Rockies will be winning more games than the Padres and Giants. The Rox have to catch them and pass them. And playing .500 crappy baseball like the Rockies have been lately won’t get that done.
Or will it?
Over the last 10 games the Colorado Rockies are 7-3. The Padres are 4-6 and the Giants are 5-5. So during this “down” period of this last couple of weeks, the Rockies have gained three games on the Padres and two on the Giants.
That’s right, the Rockies are gaining ground on the teams they need to gain ground on. Sometimes perception isn’t reality in baseball.
If the Rockies can keep up this pace…they will pass the Giants and the Padres about the same time sometime in the first week in September.
The Rockies still play the Giants six times this year and the Padres six times as well. The Rockies don’t have to sweep those 12 games, just win the series.
Right now, the Rockies are not out of anything. They still have all their goals in front of them for the taking. As frustrating as this team has been this season, with all of its ups and downs, for the Rockies to make the playoffs, all they have to do is play like they did these past two weeks.
Yeah, getting their hearts ripped out by the Pirates is still good enough. Struggling on the road is still good enough. What we as fans struggle though and feel sometimes isn’t the full reality. If the Rockies do just what they have the last couple of weeks, they have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs.
As many times as I want to bury this team, they shouldn’t be buried or dismissed. They are still near the top in the NL in runs scored and in several hitting categories. The real weakness hasn’t been hitting, it’s been pitching. The Rockies need more consistent starting pitching, and they need more consistent relief pitching. Those are big issues to overcome, but the Rockies are far from done.
What Rockies fans used to beg for was meaningful games after the All-Star break. And that’s what we’ve got. The Rockies are in the middle of the playoff race and we have meaningful baseball games here in Denver in August. With just a small improvement on consistency and focus, the Rockies will be playing meaningful games in September, and maybe October.
What more do you want from the Rockies than that?
This Article is also featured on: The Rockies Reporter