With another team you might worry about a drop off or some kind of "letting up on the gas pedal" coming off a two-game series win against the rival Giants and a fairly secure seven-game lead in the division. But, as we well know by this point, the Arizona Diamondbacks are not like other teams. Manager Kirk Gibson has pushed all the right mental buttons with his mixed group of young players and wily, hungry vets.
The Diamondbacks (80-60) start their final 22-game push for the playoffs with a three-game roadie in the beautiful Rockies.
At this point, it's fair to take one eye off the Giants daily box score and start watching a couple of other teams, the Atlanta Braves (82-57) and the Milwaukee Brewers (84-57). The D-backs have a very realistic chance of catching either team and earning home field advantage in the first round. Both the Braves and Brewers have much more challenging schedules than Arizona.
That's the goal now and it starts in Colorado. Here's your pitching match-ups.
- Monday (12:10 pm) : Wade Miley (2-1, 3.94) vs. Esmil Rogers (6-4, 5.94)
- Tuesday (5:40 pm) : Josh Collmenter (9-8, 3.18) vs. Jason Hammel (7-13, 5.15)
- Wednesday (5:40 pm) : Joe Saunders (9-12, 3.91) vs. Kevin Millwood (2-1, 3.34)
All three games will be broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona with live online game threads at AZ Snake Pit. Here's what they have to say about this series.
Series Preview #46: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies - AZ Snake Pit
Even though seemingly everyone has been taken by surprise by the Rockies' disastrous season, part of me wonders if maybe we should have seen this coming. The 2010 Rockies won 83 games and finished in third place in a very winnable division, and the only significant change they made going into 2011 was the addition of Jose Lopez. Jose Lopez has a career OPS+ of 84. Why everyone (including myself) expected them to suddenly take a step forward is a bit beyond me, in retrospect.