All Colorado Rockies fans can agree on one thing: the 2012 season has been a big disappointment. Free agency moves didn't work out. Numerous injuries hit the team. Key starting pitchers never returned from injury at all, or struggled to do so. It just wasn't their year. However, despite all that, this season can still end on a high note.
Chance To Hurt The Dodgers
The Rockies have been playing very well in the past few weeks. They're 10-3 in their last 13 games. Right now they're finishing up a road trip against the Chicago Cubs, but on Monday, August 27, they will start a three-game home series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers are in the thick of a division race with the San Francisco Giants. Between now and the end of the season, the Rockies will play the Dodgers six times (including three more games in L.A. in the last week of the season).
As of August 26, the Giants hold a two-game lead on the Dodgers in the NL West. That also make the Dodgers a half-game out of the wild card race as well. The Dodgers, in a last-gasp effort to push into the playoffs this season, just made a monster trade with the Boston Red Sox. They acquired a number of former superstars that they hope will help push them back into the post-season. It will be interesting to see if the Rockies can continue their excellent play this week when the Dodgers come to town.
Could They Knock the Giants Out Of The Playoffs?
However, the Rockies also play the Giants seven times in an 11-day span later in September. With the Giants losing their superstar outfielder Melky Cabrera to a 50-game suspension for doping, the Giants could be vulnerable. Considering how contentious the rivalry is between the Rockies and the Giants, I'd much rather knock the Giants out of the playoffs and ruin their season. Even simply winning five or six games from the Giants at this critical time could be enough to do it. In the wild card race, there are four teams within one game of each other. A single game could change everything.
Remember when the Giants, back in 2010 when they ultimately won the World Series, kept complaining all season about the Rockies cheating? They said that the Rockies use of the humidor to nullify the low humidity and high altitude was different when they came to town. Pitcher Tim Lincecum frequently used to complain very loudly that he kept getting "juiced" balls (meaning, regular baseballs not affected by the humidor) when he pitched at Coors Field. I've never been more angry at a baseball team (or one single player) than the Giants and Lincecum during that season, and it would give me no greater pleasure than to see the Rockies knock these guys out of the playoffs completely. Notice how, since the Rockies are completely out of contention, the Giants haven't complained about it anymore?
Either way, the Rockies can make a big difference on who actually makes the playoffs. So if you think that these games in September don't matter, think again. There's a lot riding on every game for both teams, and the Rockies can use a great September to propel them to a much better 2013.
Julie is a featured sports contributor for the Yahoo Contributor Network. A lifelong baseball fan, she started rooting for the Rockies upon moving to Colorado in 2001.