Since the Dodgers have lost two straight series, while the Rockies have won 20 of 23, its understandable that they would feel confident, even 7½ games out of the division lead. However, before Dodger fans start heading toward the ledge, here's a look at all the times the LA Dodgers have held a lead of seven games or more (they currently lead the Giants by 7):
|1988||won World Series|
|1978||won NL Pennant|
|1977||won NL Pennant|
|1974||won NL Pennant|
|1973||led by 8.5 after game #96; lost by 2 (Reds)|
|1963||won World Series|
We have to go back 36 years to find a Dodger team that didn't convert a lead this big into winning the division or league. A seven-game lead is a big deal. While the Dodgers may not be as good as 48-28, I'm going out on a limb to say the Rockies aren't as good as 20-3 or 22-7 (their record under Jim Tracy) either. And the Giants? Not with that offense.
Also, I don't know if you have heard this or not, but the Dodgers are adding a fairly significant hitter to their lineup at the end of this week, which should only bode well going forward. As much as I would like to bill this series with the Rockies as some huge clash between two teams vying for the division title, that's simply not the case. Sure, the Rockies (or Giants) could end up winning the wild card, and Baseball Prospectus has the Dodgers' chances of winning the division at "only" 89.4%, but for all intents and purposes...
THE NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST HAS ALREADY BEEN DECIDED. THE RACE IS OVER.
Randy Wolf is coming off his worst start of the season, giving up three home runs in Chicago against the White Sox. Wolf was not pleased, saying: "There is no way to candy-coat it. I stunk. Frankly, I’m embarrassed with the way I pitched." In Wolf's lone outing against Colorado this season, back in April, he allowed three first-inning runs but rebounded to retire 16 of the final 18 batters he faced, keeping the Dodgers in the game that they would later win, 4-3.
Ubaldo Jimenez starts for the Rockies, his fourth start of the season against the Dodgers. He has allowed seven, six, then five runs in those three starts, so look for the Dodgers to tally four off him tonight, continuing the trend.
The Dodgers have won eight of nine meetings with the Rockies this season, but the games have been closer than you think, at least with the starters in the game. Here's a breakdown of the scoring in those nine games:
|Innings 1-6:||Dodgers 40, Rockies 36|
|Innings 7+:||Dodgers 34, Rockies 7|
The key to tonight's game, and the series? Making it a battle of bullpens.
Get your guesses in for "She Is Gone" here.