With each Colorado Rockies' loss, the Major League Baseball playoffs and memories of Rocktobers past have never felt so far away.
The Rockies won 10 in a row earlier this month, but never were able to eclipse or tie the teams that were in their playoff path. Now, with just six games remaining, the Rockies sit four games out of the Wild Card, and five out of the top spot in the National League West.
"If we were ugly before this game, now we're bleeding," Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez told ESPN.com after Monday night's game.
There's most likely not enough time remaining to stop the bleeding for Colorado. The Rox play two more games against the Dodgers at Coors Field, then finish up the regular season with four at Busch Stadium against the Cardinals.
"It's painful," Gonzalez continued. "Because we all thought we were going to be battling until the end."
He's right, because we all did. The Rockies have had a knack over the past four seasons for having a "never-say-die" attitude, where you could never, at any point in a ballgame or a season, count them out. Seriously, count all the times you saw the Rockies down 6-0, or saw where they were in the standings, and said to yourself, "damn, they're finished."
Now count how many times you were wrong. The two numbers are probably pretty close.
But it isn't all in the Rockies' control this time. If they want any chance at winning the Wild Card, even if the Braves and Padres lose the remainder of their games (the Padres have six, while the Braves only have five), the Rockies would have to go 5-1 just to force a three-way tie for the Wild Card.
The NL West is virtually impossible at this point, considering the Padres and Giants face off on the last weekend of the season, and well, someone has to win those games. It's not yet mathematically impossible, however.
If the Padres win just two of their next six (both would need to be against the Giants), the Giants lose at least five of their final six games, and the Rockies win their final six games, the Rockies would finish in some type of tie for the National League West crown, whether it be a two-way or a three-way knot.
They can no longer win the division without a one-game playoff, because one of either the Padres or Giants will win two games this weekend.
Was that enough of a math lesson for today? Good, it was for me too.
It's a disappointing story, honestly. The Rockies had become one of those teams for which casual fans rooted. During that early September run, it appeared as if the only thing that could stop the Rockies, was the team itself.
That seems to be what happened.
The squad has players easy to root for, too. Carlos Gonzalez might be on his way to challenging Albert Pujols as the best player in the game. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had a September that will be compared to that of Babe Ruth's. Rotation ace Ubaldo Jimenez will at least be involved in the National League Cy Young discussion.
In the end, they might not be enough. And it probably won't be.
But they'll be back. If you don't believe that, you haven't paid attention the past three years.