(Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports)
The Los Angeles Dodgers are on a historic run while the Colorado Rockies are chasing the wrong kind of history.
Los Angeles (96-59) has clinched a playoff spot for the 11th straight season, which includes 10 NL West Division titles, and has a chance to win 100 games for the fourth consecutive full season and the fifth time in the past six full seasons.
With four games at Colorado this week, the Dodgers can reach the century mark by Thursday.
The teams kick off the final games against each other with a split doubleheader on Tuesday. Los Angeles will use an opener in the first game with Ryan Pepiot (2-1, 1.91 ERA) picking up multiple innings at some point. Rookie right-hander Bobby Miller (10-4, 3.97) will start the nightcap.
The Rockies (56-99) have not named a starter for either game.
The Dodgers have clinched a top-two seed in the NL playoffs, which means they will have a bye in the first round and begin the division series at home on Oct. 7. They trail Atlanta by four games for the top seed in the NL so there remains incentive in the final week.
Los Angeles is coming off a 5-2 homestand, topped off by taking three of four from the San Francisco Giants to effectively end their rival's chances at a wild-card spot. The Dodgers finished 2023 with a 53-28 home record and wrap up the season with seven games on the road.
"I think for us, we're trying to continue to play good baseball and win games. Keep going," said Chris Taylor, who delivered an RBI single in the 10th inning Sunday night to beat San Francisco. "Trying to head into the playoffs on a positive note."
Miller has pitched his way into the postseason rotation despite not making his major league debut until late May. He will be facing the Rockies for the first time.
Colorado is expected to be motivated. The Rockies were swept in a three-game series on the road against the Chicago Cubs over the weekend and need to win out to avoid their first 100-loss season. The 99 losses are a franchise high.
After four games against Los Angeles, the Rockies finish the schedule by hosting the Minnesota Twins for a three-game weekend series. Colorado raised the white flag at the trade deadline, moving veteran players for future prospects, and has fielded a young team since.
Within the losing, the Rockies aimed for small victories. Their young outfielders have played electric defense, and veteran Charlie Blackmon has played well in the final year of his contract. At 37, he is the oldest and longest-tenured player on the roster.
Brendan Rodgers, while only 27, is a grizzled vet on this team and gave Colorado a boost when he returned earlier than expected from a dislocated left shoulder that occurred in spring training. He has played 39 games and hit his second homer in his past four games Sunday.
"It's been good to finally hit some balls in the air and get some homers out of the way," Rodgers said. "Missing so much time, it's definitely in the back of your mind playing, especially getting to about 100 at-bats and not having one."
--Field Level Media