Denny Bautista will pitch for two innings of the pivot game this series tonight, followed by some combination of Mark Redman and Taylor Buchholz. This engenders a sort of odd calm in me, actually, like we're an old galleon without working rudder or sails but plenty of firepower drifting to an inevitible and conclusive battle. It's the confidence of the damned, I suppose, but it's what we've got to work with right now.
Woody Paige has once again pronounced the Rockies dead, and tries so hard to make the Rockies breaking the franchise record for wins in a season sound like a bad thing. While he's right about how nice it would be to have more pitching, remember he would have had us scrap the entire team in May and trade Todd Helton to some real contender because we'd be fifteen games out of first by June. Note how he disses Edwin Bellorin today after calling for his promotion from the Springs in the May article. Yeah, whatever.
Paige and others who see certain doom already for the team are usually basing their prognostications by figuring that team X has a certain winning percentage thus far, and if I just extrapolate that out, I can get a reasonable guess for the final result. Be careful with this type of easy analysis, as it doesn't take the schedule into account. For example, Arizona hasn't had a .500 record against the NL West all season, and they only have three games outside the division in the final sixteen games with a road trip to Pittsburgh. I'm not saying they aren't overwhelming favorites to win, but those nine games against the Dodgers and Rockies in particular will be what determines if they actually do. That's why I like BP's Postseason Odds Report, which does take all of this into account and figures the Snakes will finish with 89 wins, a game up on the Padres. The Rox will want to do better than the predicted 84 if they want to sniff the postseason, and winning unexpectedly tonight will probably help their chances tremendously.