Magic Number Is Two

Magic Number Is Two

After a nervous week where most of us were on the edge of the seats pressing our noses to the screen, the playoff picture has come into focus for the Blake Street men.  With the loss to the Cubs Thursday night, the Cardinals are officially eliminated from WC2 race.  With three games remaining, the Rockies lead the Brew Crew by two games.  Colorado cannot be eliminated after Saturday’s games.  Let’s assume that the Dodgers will sweep the Rockies this weekend; the Brewers will have to sweep the Cardinals at Busch Stadium to overtake Colorado on the final day of the season.  If they take two of three, then there will be a one game play-in on Monday to play in the WC game.  They take only one game, the Brewers would let the Rockies into the playoffs via the back door.

If the Rockies want to avoid all this drama, just win a game or two vs. the Dodgers this weekend.  Chettis, German Marquez, and Tyler Anderson will be going against Ryu, Kershaw, and Darvish.  Jon Gray is lined up to pitch the tie breaker on Monday or the wild card game on Wednesday at Arizona.

After a bad start against Miami getting themselves beat by the 8-hole hitter with 4 RBI, they tried to rally late in the game before losing 5-4 on Monday.  That was despite Giancarlo Stanton being a no-show the entire series.  Naturally, he came home to Miami Thursday night to hit two moon shots in his quest for 60 HRs.

Then Anderson went to work on Tuesday shutting out the Marlins over seven innings before Chris Rusin and Mike Dunn finished off the shutout in a 6-0 victory.  Trevor Story hit a three-run blast in the first to put the Rockies at ease.  Nolan Arenado added an insurance two-run shot in the fifth.

Ian Desmond got things started with a three-run shot in the second inning before his teammates ran away to a 15-9 victory on Wednesday.  Jeff Hoffman raised the team blood pressure a bit when he gave up four consecutive doubles to start the ninth.  BB had to call upon Kyle Freeland (1 out) and Pat Neshek (2 outs) to close out the game.

If Colorado wants to control their own destiny, Friday night is as good a time as any since it is Fireworks Night after the game is complete.  Nothing like clinching the WC2 with the fireworks illuminating the sky if the Brewers lose tomorrow.  How many of you got tickets to the post season games?  I got my set in the mail and it is neat to see real WS tickets.  Now only if we can get there….

Brewers still racing; Cardinals out

rockymountainhigh

Hometown - Champaign, IL College - Northern Illinois University, 1988 Sports Editor for my high school newspaper. Travels frequently - I can be found anywhere in the world.

27 Comments

    • Agbayani

      September 29, 2017

      Cargo’s swan song as a Rockie this weekend? Yes, it’s been a miserable season, but he’s going out in style. His second half stats: .310/.389/.515 — that’s a 904 OPS. 122 RC+. That’s … really good! It’s not quite the prime Cargo, but he’s earned himself a decent one-year deal somewhere, and although I love the guy, I hope it’s not here; sometimes it’s time to move on.

      This weekend has me anxious. The Dodgers will be tuning up for the postseason, but even so you’ve gotta expect roughly 4- 5 inning starts from Ryu and Kershaw (and somebody else on Sunday, maybe Alex Wood AND Rich Hill backing up Darvish?) and they’ll be giving relief innings to their better bullpen pitchers too to stay sharp. Cards – a little help please? Carp, I hope you’re right about the Cards wanting to spoil things for the Brewers. No doubt that’s true, but I’m a little concerned about Matheny wanting to work in minor league callups now that their season is over. Nailbiter weekend for sure …

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 29, 2017

      FYI – the Dodgers announced earlier this week Darvish will NOT pitch Sunday. They’re saying it’s going to be a BP day.

      If the Rockies have clinched the 2nd WC spot by Sunday – this (not starting Darvish) makes some sense to me. Darvish will most likely pitch game #2 in the Division series October 7th. There’s no reason to give the Rockies a preview since they might be the opponent in this scenario. But what if the Rox lose tonight and tomorrow and the Brewers win. Would the Dodgers rather see (potentially) the Brewers or the Rockies in the Division series? Maybe I’m thinking about this too much.

      In the meantime (tonight and tomorrow), I expect to see the Dodgers in late Spring Training mode. Meaning – play the starters +/- 5 innings, then ample substitutions.

      Reply
    • roxnsox

      September 29, 2017

      Yep, I got my tickets for NLDS home game #1! I had to doggedly persist in re-trying for 3 hours online, but …. been there, done that so I hung in there.

      The Cards have too much pride to do anything but play hard. They’ve got to be really stung and ready to hammer somebody (I saw Matheny on TV today saying “I’ve never had to do this before” – is that right? Meaning, stand up there and say “we fell a little short.”
      Made the playoffs every year you’ve managed? Sounds about right, and boohoo, Mike. It would be great if it’s all wrapped up at the end of games this very night! On the other hand, a teeeeeny bit of suspense through tomorrow or Sunday (with the right outcome!!!) would be fun too.

      I appreciate the shout-out re: Cargo, Ag. It really has been great in a couple of ways to see him revive a bit here near the end in purple. No way they bring him back. Right? Eeeeek…..Right?

      GO ROCKIES!!!

      Reply
      • roxnsox

        September 29, 2017

        What, RMH? Have you time-traveled ahead? (Hope not, cuz that doesn’t sound good :))

        Reply
      • Bob K.

        September 29, 2017

        Once again your negativity has paid off with three first inning runs. Way to go!!

        Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 29, 2017

      Watching Trevor Story bat against Walker Buehler…..it’s a dream scenario for Story. Buehler sits at 98, touches 100, easy action. But he doesn’t change speed (yet) effectively. Story can hit straight fast stuff all night long. For that matter, so can Cargo. What’s those 2 guys have struggled so much with this year is the off-speed stuff after some high speed setup pitches.

      Another thought regarding the Dodgers, in the madness of the trade deadline, somewhat under the radar, the Dodgers got Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson. The two Tony’s. Even at the time…..I thought both were weird deals. Yes, they’re LHed. But at this stage of their careers, so average.

      Reply
    • Agbayani

      September 30, 2017

      Story: agreed. And the corollary to him beating up on fastballers is that rightie with good off speed stuff eat him up! Career-wise now (2 years, so the sample size is becoming adequate):

      vs. LHP: .297/.388/.638 – 1.025 OPS, 148 RC+. That’s fantastic! Better, for example, than Arenado’s overall numbers. Since lefties don’t want to give him off-speed pitches that tend to break right into his wheelhouse, I’m guessing he effectively neutralizes that and turns them into fastball pitchers.

      vs. RHP: .237/.299/.457 – 756 OPS, 81 RC+. Ouch.

      I think this is sinking in with Bud Black, since we say Story moved up to the cleanup spot against a lefty starter earlier this week. You want to give him as many opportunities against lefties as possible.

      Unrelated thought: Saunders in today’s DP has an article about how Bridich deserves major credit for this year’s turnaround. Well, I kind of agree … but let’s not forget about our old whipping boy Dan O’Dowd. These starting pitchers – the key element in the turnaround – other than Marquez were all O’Dowd guys. And the same thing applies to almost all of the key position players with the exception of Desmond (ugh) and Parra (sem-ugh) and Reynolds (kind of an afterthought this year for Bridich) and Lucroy (anti-ugh, a really nice late season rental). Blackmon, Arenado, Story, DJ, Cargo (the 2nd half version) – all O’Dowd guys. Moses never lived to see the promised land …

      Reply
      • rockymountainhigh

        October 1, 2017

        The turnaround really started when Bill Geivett left. Cowboy wrote an article recently talking about the pitchers making comeback at altitude. Geivett took away curve balls. When Mark Wiley arrived, he restored curve balls and hired Steve foster and Darren Holmes. Also they let pitchers pitch to their strengths instead of trying to change them.

        In my book, it was one thing – get rid of Geivett. Good riddance. BB helped created the final product with proper usage of pitchers.

        Reply
        • Agbayani

          October 1, 2017

          RMH, I think you put too much blame on Geivett here. Geivett was merely the guy who implemented the last O’Dowd “Theory of Coors Pitcher Survival” strategy, the one that basically eliminated not just curveballs, but also pretty much any emphasis on pitching up in the zone. Had that stuck, Jon Gray would’ve been turned into a Tyler Chatwood. Remember when the Rockies started spring training with a string across the plate at roughly thigh level, forcing all pitchers to throw below it? Remember when the strategy was to draft only groundballers (resulting in Greg Reynolds instead of Lincecum) and to turn guys with great curveballs (Chatwood) into pure sinker-slider guys? There was no doubt some analytics behind this, but it was an abuse of analytics, an idea that there was something that could be called “a Coors Field-style pitcher” rather than an understanding that a good pitcher can succeed anywhere, but that success at Coors (180 innings, maybe a 3.60 ERA now, 4.60 in 2001) will look very different than success at Dodger Stadium (try 2.60). This idea finally started to change when the obvious failure of many “Coors Profile” guys made it impossible to ignore. They stopped trying to draft and develop less talented pitchers who fit the profile and started just taking the best guy on the board – Jon Gray for example. Although there’s some luck there too, since they surely would’ve taken Mark Appel instead of Gray if they’d had the #1 overall pick. We’re reaping the benefits of the change in that strategy – a change that occurred while Geivett was very much an integral part of the Rockies brain trust.

          Reply
    • Agbayani

      September 30, 2017

      Brewers are gonna make us win it rather than backing in …. up 6-0 on the Cards in the 3rd inning right now.

      Reply
      • Bob K.

        September 30, 2017

        Go Cardinals, it’s 6 – 4 in the top of the 4th.

        Reply
        • sdcarp

          September 30, 2017

          Seis to Seis………come on guys, don’t give up so easily.

          Reply
    • Agbayani

      September 30, 2017

      Whoah …. and the Cards lead!!!!!!

      Reply
    • sdcarp

      September 30, 2017

      Video from Rox clubhouse pretty darn cool!

      Reply
    • roxnsox

      September 30, 2017

      Just finished watching the Brewers/Cards on DVR. WHEEEWWWW! That was an exquisitely perfect amount of the suspense I so foolishly requested last night. I will never hate the classy successful Cards again. Wow. And…Juan Nicasio? Exquisite.

      Now, I begin the DVR of the Rockies, and I and they are relaxed and smiling. The pregame Rox videos WERE super cool:)

      Reply
    • Chip

      October 1, 2017

      Hey, sorry I’ve been away from RWO for the year. I’ve got tik for 2day’s game Upper Deck, Row 1, Sec 342 (Alcohol free zone). I’m outta here in 30 minutes, so try calling me 720 333 1667. It’s a $18 seat looking across the diamond from behind Nolan. I’ll meet anyone there but want to get inside by 12 or 12:30 so I can stock up on a brew or two before goin booze free the rest of the day

      Reply
    • Chip

      October 1, 2017

      BTW, no smartphone only a flip so just call me

      Reply
    • Bob in WV

      October 1, 2017

      What did I win? I believe my preseason prediction was 87-75, although I did predict they would just miss the postseason with that record. ROCTOBER, BABY!

      Reply
      • roxnsox

        October 1, 2017

        Bob, what did I win? I predicted 85-77, BUT that they would take the second wild card. I guess we’re kind of tied in these prediction areas. 😉

        Reply
    • roxnsox

      October 1, 2017

      Congrats again, Rockies! You’re in. Every team has a chance now. Thanks again, Cards.

      I will reserve comment on two losses to finish, and the small crowd today. Best fans in baseball? Please. Go to Fenway or Wrigley for a meaningless last game and see about that. Makes me kind of sad and embarrassed, but I will say I could feel the joy through the TV last night.

      I will never understand why 1) Carlos Gonzalez, longtime star and fan favorite, and resurgent the last few weeks as well, did not start today in very possibly his last appearance at the home field on Fan Appreciation Day, or 2) why he did not pinch-hit in the bottom of the 8th with 2 on and 1 out, trailing by 3. Amarista is sent to bat again?! This is driving me crazy. Of course it doesn’t “matter.”

      So the Dodgies have home field for the World Series by way of best record in the majors. I would like to know how this works when they are bounced out of the competition (by the Rockies). Does the National League still hold home field for the Series in the wake of that? Or does the next-best record in the majors, regardless of league, then step up to hold home field, as long as they last? One of you guys and girls help me here, please. 🙂

      Fun season! Just enough ups and downs to keep it so, and at least a bit of a reward 🙂

      Reply
      • Bob in WV

        October 2, 2017

        I’m sure having the Broncos play their archrivals at the same time less than two miles away and knowing the game meant nothing had a lot to do with Sunday’s crowd size. Regarding the World Series, the pennant winner with the better record gets home field advantage. That would only fall to the Rockies if they played the Twins…highly unlikely.

        Reply
        • roxnsox

          October 2, 2017

          Let’s hope for that, though! Sounds like kind of a nice matchup. Thanks, Bob.

          (Yeah, those Broncos….but I apologize for ranting about the crowd. Heat of the moment.)

          Reply

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