With their 3-1 victory last night over the Cincinnati Reds behind the dominant performances of Jason Marquis and Eric Young Jr., the Colorado Rockies are in rarified air for the franchise--19 games above .500. They once again own a three game advantage in the Wild Card race (which has quickly narrowed to Colorado and San Francisco) while LA is within range (3.5 games) with just 23 games to play. The win pushed the Rockies' record under Jim Tracy to 61-32.
The Rockies are going on a joyride down the home stretch--the Denver Post writers instruct you to sit back and enjoy it, Rockies fans (bandwaggoners are welcome). They outline ten things you should know about this Rockies squad and how they have gone from 18-28 to 79-60. It's a good primer for the uninitiated and those who need a refresher course on the 2009 Rockies.
Here is how the Rockies' playoff chances stack up as of last night. According to this simulation the Rockies are most likely to win 92 games, with most of the simulation outcomes between 90-94 victories. Even the low end of that spectrum would require only an 11-12 record down the stretch--and there's a 73.2% chance that if the Rockies were to end up with 90 wins that they would make the postseason. At the upper range (94 wins and a 15-8 record down the stretch), the division comes into play.
CoolStandings: 78.6% chance
What can we take away from this? These simulations, which do a great job of weighting the potential outcomes of the season, see the Rockies with an excellent chance of not only reaching the postseason, but doing it at a pace heretofore unseen in the Rocky Mountains. Heck, just by playing .500 ball the Rockies will set a franchise record for victories--and there is the potential for much more.
It's a great time to be a Rockies fan.
According to Patrick Saunders, Troy Tulowitzki will likely be out a few more days with lower back pain, while Ian Stewart's back pain is not as serious. Obviously this is a blow to the Rockies, but like some have advocated, giving Tulo and Stewart some rest as the Rockies gear up for Rocktober can really pay long-term dividends for the club. Plus, if Eric Young, Jr. keeps hitting this well, the Rockies will have yet another weapon primed and ready for the postseason should they need him.
In the notes, the article mentions that Ubaldo Jimenez's hamstring feels "much, much better" and that he predicts that he will make his regular Saturday start against the Padres. Obviously this is good news for the Rockies, who would like to avoid a Tim Lincecum situation with their ace.
Thomas Harding chimes in with an article about Ian Stewart's back spasms and in it he mentions that Dexter Fowler will likely be activated for tonight's game after being evaluated by Rockies trainers and coaches.
Franklin Morales notched his fifth save in a week last night since assuming the role with Huston Street's bicep tendonitis. Harding writes that Morales is making the closer's role his own. My opinion for next year is that Morales should be a starter--even as a dominant closer, Morales would be less valuable to the team than as a middle of the rotation pitcher--and Morales has the potential to be a number two guy, which is much more valuable.
The Rockies are inviting your votes for the Top Nine Rockies ever (by best hitting seasons) on 9/9/09. I'll have my say on this in a couple of weeks when I finish my WAR Lords series, but this list is...inadequate.
Finally, here's some power rankings that diss Bruce Bochy for those of you who like that sort of thing.