The Colorado Rockies are red hot and having one of the best seasons in franchise history. That being said, they fell a game short of winning the division outright and now must travel to Los Angeles to face Walker Buehler and the Dodgers.
As of Sunday morning, I was under the impression Buehler was pitching versus San Francisco, leaving L.A. with their third or fourth option for this all-important tie-breaker. Instead, they held him back to face German Marquez and the Colorado Rockies to decide the division.
Facing Buehler in Dodger Stadium for one last last chance to win the division may not be ideal, but it is a challenge the Rockies are capable of facing. Despite many other very impressive statistics, Buehler is actually 0-1 in five starts against the Rockies being part of the decision that lone time.
Marquez is pitching his best baseball of the season of late and is no slouch to go head to head with Buehler. Marquez is 2-0 in three starts versus the Dodgers.
The lineup remains hot with a 12 run regular season finale featuring a Charlie Blackmon cycle, two home runs from Nolan Arenado and one from Trevor Story. David Dahl went yard yet again and every starter except Ian Desmond reached base on Sunday.
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None of that will keep the national audience from just assuming the Cubs and Dodgers will prevail as division champs. The only way to do that is go out and beat them, the Rockies will have to take the division for their own.
The only way they can do that is to act like a division champion and do what they’ve been doing now that the stage is big and the national audience is tuning in on ESPN at 2 p.m. MT.
A win on Monday provides the Rockies to have a rotation on solid rest and an entire series to show that they belong. A loss and we get one more shot to win a wildcard game or the season would fall short of real playoff contention.
The Rockies are in for a fight starting with the Dodgers, but this is their opportunity. They’ll have to make the best of it.