Colorado 72-59 (31 games left)
San Francisco 72-59 (31 games left)
Atlanta 68-62 (32 games left)
Florida 68-62 (32 games left)
After getting swept in San Francisco the Colorado Rockies are in the midst of a five-game skid that has dropped the club into a tie for the Wild Card lead. Colorado returns home on Tuesday, however, where the club is 36-26 on the season. And the schedule for the next few days definitely favors the Rockies.
Colorado has ten straight home games vs. three of the worst teams in the league:
3 vs. NY Mets
3 vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
4 vs. Cincinnati Reds
San Francisco, riding high after Sunday's comeback vs. Colorado, hits the road for six games after a day off on Monday, after which the Giants return home to face a Padres club trying to play spoiler in the Wild Card race:
3 @ Philadelphia Phillies
3 @ Milwaukee Brewers
3 vs. San Diego Padres
Florida is 3-3 so far on a ten-game home stand that wraps up with four against division rival and fellow-Wild Card contender Atlanta. The Marlins hit the road later this week, but still have a favorable schedule for the nine games following the Braves series:
4 vs. Atlanta Braves
3 @ Washington Nationals
3 @ NY Mets
3 vs. Washington Nationals
And then we have the Braves. Sunday's finale in Philly was a well-pitched game by Jair Jurrjens and Joe Blanton and it would have been tough for whoever lost, but it was an especially tough loss for the Braves. I kept expecting a game-tying homer from Philly, and sure enough that's exactly what Chase Utley did. We were lucky to escape a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, but our luck ran out fast after that.
Chipper's throwing error hurt in the seventh, and then after Chipper singled to get us close in the eighth, a great defensive play by Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins turned a hard hit ball by Brian McCann into a double play.
But those are the breaks, and you have to roll with them.
Brad Lidge closed us out in the ninth for the second time this series, and now the Braves head to Florida looking to break a nasty streak: we've lost the first game in five consecutive series. That makes it tough to win any series, and right now, Atlanta needs to go on a strong run of series' victories to have any shot at catching both Colorado and San Francisco. Upcoming games:
4 @ Florida Marlins
3 vs. Cincinnati Reds
3 @ Houston Astros
3 @ St. Louis Cardinals
Tim Hudson was supposed to make his return to the Braves rotation today, but has been pushed back until Tuesday. Today's matchup: Kawakami vs. Johnson.