That’s what’s on the table for the Colorado Rockies as they are set to begin a four-game series with the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field.
Colorado recently wrapped up a nine-game divisional road trip with a record of 5-4. A winning record on any road trip, especially against divisional opponents is usually positive, but the end result could have been, and nearly was, so much sweeter.
The Rockies started the road trip off on a strong note, sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in three games. With momentum riding high, Colorado traveled from the valley of the sun to the big city to square off against the Dodgers.
The start of the series looked promising, Colorado stood tall with the Dodgers, but wound up losing in walk-off fashion not once, but twice, dropping the series finale as well to end a demoralizing set of games.
The Rockies turned the page rather quickly, proceeding to take two of three games versus the San Francisco Giants to finish the trip with momentum heading home following more than a week on the road.
Coming home after a long road trip is always fulfilling, but a significant challenge lies ahead for the Rockies in the Dodgers. Los Angeles is currently in the midst of an 11-game winning streak versus the Rockies and have owned them when it’s mattered most whether it be in game 163 last season or on National TV at the start of this year.
“It’s good to get a series win and have some momentum going home against a Dodgers team that has kind of had our number.” Outfielder David Dahl said.
The Rockies have turned things around since the start of the season, posting a 38-27 record since April 14 which is the second-best record in the National League.
The one team better? The Dodgers.
Los Angeles has trumped over Colorado in each of the past two seasons and once again are on a path to win another division crown which will force the Rockies to fend for one of two Wild Card spots once again.
“We know where they are (in the standings),” Manager Bud Black said. “I think they know what they are up against to. They know what we are about, so we are looking forward to the series.”
Considering how the Rockies have played the Dodgers over the past two seasons and the frequency in which the teams meet, the matchups between the two can be considered a rivalry of sorts to fans.
However, Los Angeles does not necessarily view it that way due to their stature and recent history of success.
“I don’t know about rivalry,” Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts said earlier this season. “They are a good club that I have a lot of respect for. It’s a team we respect, and they gave us a run for our money last year.”
The Rockies have been the Dodgers little brother in a sense. While the Rockies have been a feel-good story the past couple of seasons, the Dodgers have emerged as the powerhouse of the National League with back-to-back pennants and winning the division six years and counting.
The 2019 season has been a mixed bag for Colorado; however, they have looked like a serious threat to the Dodgers at times, but when the light has shined brightest, the Rockies have failed to deliver against Los Angeles.
If the Rockies want to evolve from a borderline postseason club to one that can contend for a division title, or even a World Series at some point, they need to prove they can hang with the best by beating winning a series versus the Dodgers.
Yes, baseball is a marathon, not a sprint, but some series and games tend to have a little extra emphasis attatched to them. The Rockies weekend series versus the Dodgers is one of them.
Colorado has evolved since the start of the season, but should they want to be legitimized around the league, a home series victory against Los Angeles is essential. The Rockies failed to answer the call last weekend, let’s see how they fare in the follow-up.