As we know, the Rockies banked a lot of wins early when they charged out to first place in the National League West and were more than 20 games over .500. They are still enjoying the benefits of banking those early wins as they cling to a 1.5 game lead in the wild card race despite an unsteady second half.
We know the star players have kept playing like stars. It is the group of players who were surprisingly very good early who have come back to earth. Michael Baumann takes a look at some of the culprits and what the Rockies will have to do to still make the playoffs.
There are a number of exciting things about the thought of the Rockies actually making the playoffs. One is that they have a stud for that one-game playoff scenario. There is the possibility that the starting pitcher would have a short leash and it would become a bullpen game. But if there was a pitcher on the Rockies who could give an ace-like start in that scenario, it’s Gray.
In the next week and hopefully beyond, there will be nervous moments. Bud Black will point to the bullpen, and the Rockies will need a reliever to get them out of a key spot. That’s where Pat Neshek can continue to bring value, and he’s included here on the list of baseball’s most clutch pitchers (subscription required).
You know who’s not having fun right now? The Brewers. They lost another close game late, this time in extra innings against the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers entered Friday night with another chance to tie the Rockies for the second wild card spot. Instead they now find themselves two games back. If that weren’t enough, there’s another team between them and the Rockies now.
This is my nightmare. The Cardinals have won four straight games, and they are now 1.5 games back of the second wild card spot. Things still favor the Rockies, but I don’t like this development at all.