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Wild 09/16/2009

Posted by sportretort in mlb, Sports.
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It’s not time to panic…. yet!

The Colorado Rockies entered their final 3 game series in San Francisco  4 1/2 games ahead of the Giants in the NL Wild Card race with 18 games

Rockies Troy tulowitzki flips his bat away in frustration after a strike out, reflecting the Rockies recent offensive woes

Rockies Troy tulowitzki flips his bat away in frustration after a strike out, reflecting the Rockies recent offensive woes

 left to play.  In their last trip to San Fran two weeks ago, the Giants swept the 3 game series.  It would be to Colorado’s benefit to avoid that same fate this time.  So here we are heading into the third and final game of the series with the Rockies trying to avoid the sweep.  Their lead is down to 2 1/2 games.  The 2 game swing in tonights game could make a world of difference.  Obviously, the Rockies will leave the City by the Bay in the lead regardless of the outcome of the game this evening.  Last time, San Fran sent the Rockies packing tied in the Wild Card.  But the Rockies, primarily due to a 9-1 home stand, opened up a good sized lead during the intervening 2 weeks.  But a 3 1/2 game lead, which the Rockies would have with a win tonight , would feel much better than a 1 1/2 game lead. 

The Rockies road trip continues with a 3 game set at Arizona after tonight.  The Giants head up

The Rockies normaly solid defense has been a step slow in this series, demonstrated in Bengie Molina's slide into the plate beating the tag to score another Giants run

The Rockies normaly solid defense has been a step slow in this series, demonstrated in Bengie Molina's slide into the plate beating the tag to score another Giants run

the coast to Division leading LA for a 3 game set after the game.  The Rockies then head back to Coors Field in Denver for their final 9 home games of the season.  It would be helpful if the Rockies take care of business over the next 13 games, because they close the season with 3 games at LA.  Including tonights game, the Giants have 9 of their final 17 games on the road.  They also close the season with their final 3 games away from home, visiting San Diego.  This is significant because the Giants have the best home record in the NL with a 48-25 mark.  They are 10 games below .500 on the road.  That is why tonights game is so important.  With a win, the Rockies will give themselves some breathing room.  Win tonight, and then go 8-7 for the remainder of the season, and the Rockies will force the Giants into needing to finish 12- 4 to end the season.  Not much margin for error there.  Drop tonights game, and finish 8-7, then San Fran needs just a 10-6 mark to force game 163.  A game that would be played by the Bay.

The good news is that Colorado entered the series needing 1 win to put the pressure squarely on the Giants.  They still have a chance to make that happen.  If they don’t, they will still be in the drivers seat, but the margin for error will be razor thin.  Tonights starting pitcher Jorge De La Rosa must shut down the Giants who suddenly are feasting on Rockies pitching.  And the bats must come alive against Matt Cain, who is 2-1 in 4 starts against the Rockies this season, allowing 10 earned runs in 25 innings pitched. Colorado has amassed 19 hits (including 5 home runs) and 15 walks against 23 strike outs against Cain this season. For his part, De La Rosa is 2-0, allowing 8 earned runs on 15 hits (2 HR) in 13 1/3 innings.  He has 12 strike outs and issued just 1 walk in his 2 starts against SF.

The Rockies have answered the bell all season long.  In the last 2 games, they have been sluggish in the field, anemic at the plate and allowed the Giants to score at will.  When the bell sounds tonight, look for the return of the Rockies of the last 3 months.  The Wild Card race ends tonight.

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