No one can argue that it is going to take a miracle for the Dodgers to win the final NL Wild Card spot. Simply put, the Dodgers must win out the season and need the Cardinals to lose four of their final six games or the Dodgers will be watching the playoffs on TV instead of being in them.
The painful truth is that the Dodgers have no one to blame but themselves for their extremely dire predicament. It was their complete offensive power failure that has them 11-12 in September – the worst September record of any team still in contention for a Wild Card berth.
The Dodgers return home after a grueling 10-game road trip during which they went an even 5-5 only to open a three-game series against a Rockies team that has won 4 straight. And even though the final three games of the regular season will be against the hated Giants and will undoubtedly be intense, it is the three-game series against the Rockies that could be the bigger challenge for the Dodgers.
How so, you ask?
Even though the Giants hate the Dodgers every bit as much as the Dodgers hate them and would love nothing more than to pound the crap out of the Dodgers, their gold is already in the bank. They have already locked up their playoff spot by running away with the NL West. As such, their focus is clearly on the NLDS, not on three meaningless games against the Dodgers or a do-or-die Wild Card playoff game. Because of this, it is a pretty safe bet that Giants manager Bruce Bochy will rest most of his regulars, or at least give them the latter innings off – especially in Wednesday’s season finale. But you can bet the farm that Jim Tracy and the Rockies will throw everything they have at the Dodgers, just as if they themselves were vying for that final Wild Card spot. They have absolutely nothing to lose and would love nothing more than to knock the Dodgers out of playoff contention, even without the services of future Hall of Famer Todd Helton and two-time All-Star Troy Tulowitzki, who are both out with injuries.
And if that wasn’t enough, the Dodgers have yet another hurdle to overcome with the Rockies. Even though the Dodgers have won 4 of 6 from the Rockies at Dodger Stadium this season, the Rockies come into town leading the season series 8-7. For reasons only they know, the Dodgers have had a harder time against the last place Rockies than any other team in the NL West this season.
The problem is that there is absolutely zero margin for error this time around – if the Dodgers do not sweep the Rockies this weekend, the series against the Giants will be as meaningless for the Dodgers as it will be for the Giants.
That said, if the Dodgers continue to play as they have for the past two games and actually do sweep the Rockies, the series against the Giants will be one of the best ever.