Rocky Mountain High

As I write this, the Colorado Rockies are nine outs away from winning their ninth straight game. It's probably too little, too late, as Baseball Prospectus lists them as having about a 15% chance of reaching the post season, but those odds came out prior to Philadelphia's loss to Atlanta and San Diego's probable loss to San Francisco, which would leave the Rockies only a half game back of the of the Padres and tied with the Phillies for second in the wild card standings.

If they are able to pull off a miracle September (they're 15-7 already this month), here is how they'd stack up against the other playoff teams that I listed in my post season wagering overview last week:

A. Defensive Efficiency
1. Cubs - 71.3%
2. Red Sox - 71.2%
3. Mets - 71.0%
4. Padres - 70.7%
5. Diamondbacks - 70.5%
6. Rockies - 70.4%
7. Yankees - 69.5%
8. Indians - 69.3%
9. Phillies - 69.1%
10. Angels - 68.9%
11. Brewers - 68.4%

B. Fielding Independent Pitching of Top Three Starters
1. Padres (Peavy/Young/Maddux) - 3.16
2. Angels (Escobar/Lackey/Weaver) - 3.79
3. Indians (Sabathia/Carmona/Westbrook) - 3.92
4. Brewers (Gallardo/Sheets/Suppan) - 3.94
5. Red Sox (Beckett/Schilling/Matsuzaka) - 3.97
6. Yankees (Wang/Pettitte/Clemens) - 4.00
7. Rockies (Francis/Jimenez/Morales) - 4.19
8. Diamondbacks (Webb/Davis/Owings) - 4.24
9. Cubs (Lilly/Hill/Zambrano) - 4.43
10. Mets (Glavine/Maine/Perez) - 4.49
11. Phillies (Hamels/Moyer/Lohse) - 4.61

C. Fielding Independent Pitching of Closer
1. Brewers (Cordero) - 1.67
2. Red Sox (Papelbon) - 2.58
3. Mets (Wagner) - 2.74
4. Yankees (Rivera) - 2.74
5. Angels (Rodriguez) - 2.75
6. Padres (Hoffman) - 2.85
7. Rockies (Corpas) - 3.33
8. Diamondbacks (Valverde) - 3.63
9. Phillies (Myers) 3.71
10. Indians (Borowski) - 3.82
11. Cubs (Dempster) - 3.89

Ranking 5th, 7th and 7th doesn't speak very highly of the Rockies odds should they get to the post-season. But even storing baseballs in a humidor to try and offset playing a mile above sea level, the team's home park could provide a hiccup for a better club in October. If anything, it is thriling to watch their current surge and I'll be rooting for them to keep their streak alive.

UPDATE: In the time it has taken me to type this, the Rockies have now gone up by two runs over the Dodgers. It is currently 7-5 in the bottom of the eighth and Los Angeles has a man on first with no one out. Unfortunately for the Rockies, the Padres just put up a four-spot on the Giants in the top of the ninth and now lead San Francisco 6-4. It doesn't look good for Giants or Rockies fans, as San Francisco will bring Roberts, Frandsen and Winn to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. Perhaps some pinch hit heroics from Barry Bonds? Only if the Giants hitters are able to do something with Trevor Hoffman's Bugs Bunny change-up...

UPDATE: Roberts flies to left, Frandsen reaches on an infield single to short and Winn reaches on an infield single to the pitcher... but Molina grounds into a double play to end the game! The Padres will stay at least full game head of the Rockies. Meanwhile the Dodgers have cut the Rockies lead to a single run and the score now stands 7-6 entering the top of the ninth.

UPDATE: Hawpe whiffs, Torrealba doubles to left, Spilborgs doubles to right scoring Torrealba, Carroll singles to right scoring Spilborgs, Matsui flies to center and Tulowitzki whiffs to put the Rockies up 9-6. The aforementioned Corpas will try to nail down the win in the bottom of the ninth against Loney, Young and Martin. No easy task.

UPDATE: Oh no: Loney grounds out but Delwyn Young homers! 9-7 Rockies...

UPDATE: Martin grounds out but Ethier doubles to deep center! LaRoche can tie the game with one swing of the bat...

UPDATE: LaRoche grounds out to second and the Rockies hang on. They pick up a game on the Phillies and remain one back of the Padres for the National League Wild Card berth. That's now nine straight wins for Colorado.

I love late-season baseball.

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