The celebration is over. The alcohol and euphoria (mostly the alcohol) is finally out of our systems. We have somewhat caught up on lost sleep after the almost five-hour marathon Wild Card game ended late into the night (sorry, to my wife and kids, I tried to keep it down.) We have enjoyed the Colorado Rockies’ 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs and their annoying fans long enough. As sweet as it is, we need to turn the page and shift focus to the National League Division Series and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Colorado Rockies will definitely need to focus as the Brewers have been the hottest team in baseball, which is saying something considering that the Rockies have won 10 of the last 12 games. In fact, the Brewers have won 11 of the last 13 games, outscoring their opponents a staggering 83-32 as they ran down the Cubs from behind for the NL Central title.
The Brewers’ offensive onslaught has been led by the likely National League MVP winner, Christian Yelich, who is hitting .451/.576/1.039 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in his last 15 games. As a whole, the Brewers have been in the middle of the pack of the National League all year long in most major offensive categories, but the month of September was a completely different story as they were in the top five.
Antonio Senzatela will be called upon first, opposite Wade Miley, to shut down the Brew Crew’s bats in Game One of the series. It will be interesting to see how Bud Black sets up the rest of the rotation.
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A big decision on whether to go with a four or five-man rotation could be huge considering the Rockies wont be able to get multiple starts from German Marquez and Kyle Freeland this series since they pitched Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
Also, does Black have faith in Jon Gray to send him out there for Game Two? Gray has struggled in his last few starts and has taken a lot of criticism while Tyler Anderson dominated an extremely potent Nationals offense on Sunday.
Will it be Anderson or Gray? Black has kept that close to his vest and may wait to see how Game One plays out before deciding.
Update: It won’t be Gray as the Opening Day starter was left off the NLDS roster when it was announced on Thursday morning.
The other big issue facing the Rockies is figuring out how jump-start their offense. Coming off the seven-game homestand to finish the season, they have only scratched out four runs in 22 innings of play in the tiebreaker and Wild Card games, which were both played on the road. Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin likely awaits them in Game Two.
As fantastic as it was to pop champagne in the faces of the Cubs and their fan base on Tuesday night, there is a much bigger prize for the Rockies … and it starts with the Brewers. Rocktober has only begun and we (the fans) are already thirsty for a whole lot more.