It took a week for the Colorado Rockies’ largest lead in the NL wild-card race to vanish. A 10-game homestand could be the ideal opportunity for them to create a new one.
The Rockies will try to regain sole possession of the wild card Tuesday night when they meet the New York Mets in the opener of this three-game set.
Colorado (72-59) had a season-high four-game lead on San Francisco after beating the Giants 6-4 in 14 innings on Aug. 24 to win three of four in Denver. The Rockies maintained that advantage the following night with a 5-4, 10-inning victory over NL West-leading Los Angeles for their ninth win in 10 games.
That lead, however, dissolved quickly as the Rockies dropped season-high five in a row, including a three-game sweep at San Francisco last weekend that pulled the Giants even in the race. That sweep was capped by Sunday’s 9-5 loss, and Colorado hasn’t dropped six in a row since a seven-game slide last Sept. 6-13.
“If you have ambitions of playing baseball in October, when you get knocked down you’ve got to stand back up,” manager Jim Tracy said. “We got knocked down this weekend. Are we going to get back up?”
The Rockies return to Coors Field, where they’re 29-13 after starting the season 7-13.
“It’s a 31-game season,” Tracy said. “The other 131 can go back over there. It’s about the next 31 games that you’re going to play.
“We’ve played 69 games on the road and we’re above .500 on the road (36-33). We get the opportunity to go back to our place with our fans, for not a short homestand but for 10 games.”
The left-hander allowed three runs and struck out seven in seven innings of a 3-2 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday after going 10-1 with a 3.75 ERA in his previous 12 games - 11 starts.
De La Rosa is 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA in seven games - one start - against the Mets (59-72). He got the better of them on July 30, yielding two runs and three hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-2 win to help the Colorado avoid getting swept in that four-game series.
The Rockies have split the last six home meetings with the Mets.
New York, which is coming off Sunday’s 4-1 win at Chicago, has dropped seven of nine.
Mets third baseman David Wright(notes)—one of 13 players on the disabled list— is expected back after he suffered a concussion Aug. 15 when he was hit in the head by pitch from the Giants’ Matt Cain(notes).
“I think it will take care of itself,” Wright told the Mets’ official Web site. “I’m just going to make sure I walk before I run. I don’t expect any trouble getting back in the box. I guess the ultimate test will be if I get another pitch up and in. But I’m not going to worry about it.”
Wright leads the Mets in batting (.324) and RBIs (55), but his eight homers are a career low after he had a personal-best 33 last year.
He wasn’t nearly as effective in Wednesday’s 5-3 loss at Florida, where he got tagged for five runs and 11 hits with five walks in 5 2-3 innings.