The Dodgers have an opportunity to help end the Rockies' season in the next few days, as they open a series at Coors Field, the final three road games of the year for the Dodgers. Any combination of Braves' wins (they are hosting Florida) and Colorado losses totaling four spells doom for the Rockies. Colorado is also alive in the NL West race, but their elimination number is just two.
Ted Lilly hopes this start against the Rockies is less like his last start at Coors Field, and more like his start against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Aside from nearly leading the club in home runs allowed, Lilly has a chance to become the third Dodger ever, with at least 10 home runs allowed, to have more home runs than walks allowed, writes Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts, among Weisman's many other final week trivial tidbits.
Ubaldo Jimenez is sitting on 19 wins, looking to become the first Rockies' pitcher ever to get 20 wins in a season. The last pitcher to get his 20th win of the season against the Dodgers was Randy Johnson, on September 4, 2002.
Jimenez this season has set Rockies' records for wins and WAR, and currently holds the top seasonal marks for ERA and WHIP. His 198 strikeouts are 12 behind Pedro Astacio's club-record 210 punchouts in 1999. His three full seasons as a starter have produced the three lowest home run rates (per nine innings) in club history.
In three starts against the Dodgers this season, Jimenez has not allowed a home run. He has allowed eight runs in 20 1/3 innings in those three starts, and the Dodgers have scored progressively more runs in each game, scoring one, three and four runs. It is the inverse of last season, in which the Dodgers battered Jimenez early, but scored fewer and fewer runs in each successive game against him.
For those who wanted Kenley Jansen and Hong-Chih Kuo to pitch in yesterday's loss in Phoenix, think of the silver lining of that dark cloud: both are available to pitch multiple games in Denver, with a chance to eliminate the Rockies.
With the pending departure of Joe Torre as Dodger manager this week, along with several more high-profile departures this season, Chris Jaffe, author of the book "Evaluating Baseball's Managers, 1876-2008," has written a great piece today for The Hardball Times about the top ten managerial finales in baseball history. The top finale ever was that of Fred Haney, whose final managerial game came with the 1959 Braves, who lost a best-of-three playoff to the Dodgers for the NL pennant.
Game Time: 5:40 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket