With the All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, a four-game road series against the Milwaukee Brewers could well provide a compass for the Colorado Rockies as the days tick down toward the August 2 MLB trade deadline.
The Colorado Rockies enter Friday’s second-half opener in Milwaukee with a 43-50 record, 18.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West and 6.5 games out of the final NL Wild Card spot. Winners of their last three series, the Rockies enter their road trip to Milwaukee with optimism, going 7-3 in their last 10 games.
Milwaukee, however, will provide a stiff test for the Rockies as the Brewers currently lead the NL Central with a 50-43 mark. At home, Brewers pitchers are holding opponents to a .226 batting average while posting a 3.63 ERA/1.146 WHIP in 40 games. Colorado’s ability to string together hits on the road will be tested by one of the NL’s best rotations and closers at American Family Field.
Last season, the Brewers posted a three-game late June sweep of the Rockies in Milwaukee, outscoring Colorado 20-8 over those three games. A result similar to that this season could not only take away the momentum Colorado has built before the All-Star break, but also solidify their chances of selling off some pieces of the roster at the trade deadline.
While general manager Bill Schmidt has said that he doesn’t expect the team to be a big seller at the trade deadline, how the team does in Milwaukee could provide a compass for which direction the team might go as August 2 draws ever nearer. Win or split the series and the team keeps its hopes alive and could even keep the team together, giving the Rockies another quiet trade deadline. Lose the series and the Rockies will also lose ground in the Wild Card standings, adding to the intrigue of what Schmidt might do.
After the four games in Milwaukee, Colorado comes home to play two games against the Chicago White Sox and four against the Los Angeles Dodgers before heading to San Diego to face the Padres in a five-game, four-day set. With the trade deadline set for 3 p.m. (Pacific) on August 2, the Rockies will be in the middle of the first game of a doubleheader in San Diego when the deadline hits, making for what could be a very interesting game, especially with the Padres expected to boost their lineup for a run at the NL West title.
All eyes will be on the Rockies in Milwaukee as the team tries to keep moving forward toward the .500 mark against an opponent with plenty of plans for the postseason.