They say that all good teams need more than 25 players to step up in order to get where they want to go. That bears true for the Colorado Rockies as they chase down something they’ve never done in franchise history.
Twenty-four years of Colorado Rockies baseball have come and gone without seeing the Denver Nine capture a National League West title. Now in their 25th year of existence, the Rockies have a chance to do just that. They have never been this close. After taking three of four in an epic series with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Colorado sits just 1.5 games back of the division-leading Arizona Diamondbacks and a half game behind the second-place Dodgers heading into Monday’s action.
Before this season, the closest the Rockies had been to first on the morning of August 13 was 2.5 games in 1996. The Rockies would never get any closer that season and ended the campaign 8 games back in the West.
From here on, they are in uncharted waters. And if they want to keep 2018 from ending like 1996, they need to stick with what’s working … giving opportunities to the team’s young talent.
A glance at the recently-concluded Dodgers’ series could easily leave Rockies fans believing they could have swept the Dodgers and moved a half-game ahead of LA in the division. After all, they held a 5-3 lead in the eighth inning before the bullpen did its thing and gave the Dodgers a dramatic 8-5 9th inning win. Six more outs and the Dodgers would have left Denver victims of a four-game sweep that sent them into third place in a division they believe should be theirs.
At the same time, the Rockies could have easily been swept and had their postseason hopes all but dashed. After a heart-breaking loss in the first game, Nolan Arenado left the second game with a sore shoulder and would not start for the rest of the series.
To make matters worse, Colorado trailed the Dodgers 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh on Friday, in danger of falling 4.5 games back of first place. On Saturday night, they were down 2-0 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Even Sunday’s game could have easily gone the Dodgers’ way after L.A. tied the game at 3 in the eighth. So why weren’t the Rockies swept?