After the Rockies walked off with their 89th win of the year last night (and with an Atlanta loss), their magic number stood at 3. As I've been predicting for the last four weeks now, the Rockies will not relinquish the wild card lead to anybody unless it's the Dodgers (and you know what that means). If LA loses their game tonight, the Rockies will control their own destiny for the NL West title. Seriously.
As Troy Renck notes in the above article:
Math, spooking them in recent days, is now the Rockies' friend. Colorado owns a three-game advantage over the Braves for the National League wild card with five remaining. So the Rockies' magic number is three, which means they need to go just 3-2 to clinch a playoff berth. A 2-3 mark would guarantee them at least a tie, resulting in a play-in game in Atlanta.
In playoff odds land, the Rockies' playoff chances increased by 18% according to Sportsclubstats to 90.4%. At BP, the Rockies' odds are now at 92.5%, with at 2.6% chance at the division. It's amazing what one good day can do.
COL ATL SF
0-5 89 wins 3-2 89 wins 5-0 89 wins
1-4 90 wins 4-1 90 wins
2-3 91 wins 5-0 91 wins
3-2 92 wins
4-1 93 wins
5-0 94 wins
Of course, the big story last night was the walk-off home run by Chris Iannetta after Huston Street gave up a three-run jack to the most punchless man in baseball to blow his second save all year. Despite Yorvit Torrealba's hot streak (and yes, I'm still pounding on this), playing Iannetta consistently still gives Colorado the best chance of winning down the stretch.
Small Sample Size Theater (because Tracy has given CDI so few opportunities in September): In 16 September PA, Iannetta is 5-12 with 2 HRs, a double, and a triple. That's a .417 AVG/.533 OBP/1.167 SLG/.660 wOBA line. Think the Rockies couldn't use that in their lineup?
Look, Torrealba has been unnaturally (and very uncharacteristically) good in this last month, but the fact is that he's OPSing .708 this month (Iannetta: 1.700). If Tracy would just give CDI consistent at-bats, Iannetta in my opinion would produce. He seems to have figured something out with all of his down-time in September.
He didn't get the win, but on the whole Jason Marquis pitched very well in his bid to secure a spot in the postseason rotation. I know that I'm in the minority, but I certainly wouldn't mind having Marquis in ahead of Cook.
The Rockies believe that Chipper Jones thinks too much when talking about the Braves' psychological advantage on the Rockies gained because they play first. I agree, that's a little ridiculous.
Tracy Ringolsby opines that the Rockies should be rooting for the Cardinals to win because they are the better matchup for Colorado. RMN has been saying that for a while and I agree. Playing Philadelphia would be dangerous because not only are they a much better lineup, they possess several quality lefties. This fact by itself doesn't bother me. It's the fact that Jim Tracy will over-rely on platoon splits and play inferior bats against left-handers that makes me really want to play the Cardinals.
Either way, I hope the other beats the Dodgers, as they are my favorite two non-Rockies teams. Ringolsby also mentions that Clint Hurdle has been mentioned as a candidate as a manager for the Reds.
Thomas Harding writes about the emergence of Ian Stewart.
Torrealba's sac fly last night gave him 16 RBIs in September.
Clint Barmes came clean to Jack Etkin about his miraculous play to end Sunday's game. It tarnishes the play a little bit, but when all is said and done it was a marvelous effort and the Rockies won the game. End of story.
Because I know someone wants to read them, Power Rankings: Fox and CBS