- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Take your pick: Will the Rockies hold off the Braves to win the NL wild card?

Yes — The Rockies hold a two-game lead on the Braves with less than a week left in the season. Colorado closes out the regular season with a pair of three-game sets vs. the Brewers and at the first-place Dodgers. The Rockies are 3-0 on the season against Milwaukee and could conceivably close out the Braves with a sweep of the Brewers at Coors Field. The Rockies do not want to go to Chavez Ravine to face the NL’s best team with the wild card still hanging in the balance.

No — The Braves have posted a MLB-best 16-3 record since Sept. 8 and finish the season with a two more home games against the Marlins and the four vs. the Nationals. Though the Braves have won six straight games behind the NL’s deepest staff of starters, two sweeps are unlikely. A 6-1 finish with a sweep of the hapless Nationals is the more likely formula (the Braves swept the Nationals over the weekend). A 6-1 finish would force Colorado to close 4-2 to avoid a one-game playoff, a tall order given that the Rockies are an atrocious 3-12 vs. the Dodgers this season.

Our Take — The key will be the first series in each case. If the Braves are still alive when play begins Friday, Atlanta has a chance to catch the Rockies, because the Braves are 10-4 against the Nationals, while Colorado has struggled mightily against the Dodgers. Moving into the playoffs, the Braves are definitely the squad nobody wants to see, because of the team’s superb five-man rotation of Jair Jurrjens, Javier Vasquez, Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson. The Braves and Rockies split their season series, making a one-game playoff for the wild card slot a very interesting proposition.


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