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Game #159: Manny Parra vs Aaron Cook

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It's sort of interesting to see how the 2009 season has unfolded for the National League's two most recent wild card winners. Heading into April, Milwaukee was coming off their 2008 playoff appearance sort of apprehensive about how they would fare without C.C. Sabathia or Ben Sheets. The Rockies were looking to rebound from a disappointing year despite losing Matt Holliday as the centerpiece of their lineup. At this point, it's obviously safe to say that the Rockies were able to overcome their loss, the Brewers were not.

National League Wild Card Standings

Colorado 90 68 .569 0 Won 3
Atlanta 86 72 .544 4 Lost 2
San Francisco 85 73 .537 5 Won 3
Florida 85 74 .534 5.5 Won 2
Chicago 82 76 .518 8 Lost 2
Milwaukee 77 81 .487 13 Lost 3
Cincinnati 76 82 .481 14 Won 2
San Diego 74 85 .465 16.5 Won 2
Houston 73 85 .462 17 Lost 2
Arizona 68 90 .430 22 Lost 2
New York 67 92 .421 23.5 Lost 3
Pittsburgh 61 97 .386 29 Won 2
Washington 55 103 .348 35 Won 3

(updated 10.1.2009 at 2:15 PM EDT)

Going forward, the Brewers will need to fix a rotation that has been about 1/10th as valuable as the Rockies starters in 2009 if they want to sniff the playoffs again in the next few seasons. Without significant impact pitchers close to contributing from their farm system, it's difficult to see how they are going to be able to accomplish this. Trading Prince Fielder might help, but that's robbing Peter to pay Paul as it were, so the impact won't be as great as it could be. At the moment, it's really looking like the Brewers window of opportunity for contention was open and shut within about the space of three seasons. This is fairly typical for small or midmarket teams. The Rockies don't figure to be significantly weakened in the off season and should be able to extend their window to at least that fourth year, and 2011 isn't looking too shabby right now, either. This is why re-signing Dan O'Dowd should be the biggest priority whenever our season does finally conclude. It took awhile for the plan he finally settled on to start paying dividends, but it has in big ways and the Rockies would be wise to acknowledge that.

Aaron Cook can clinch our second playoff appearance in three seasons today,