The Colorado Rockies on Saturday clinched a postseason berth for the first time in eight years, and they’ll face a familiar foe in the 2017 National League Wild Card Game. Colorado will travel to Phoenix to battle the Arizona Diamondbacks in a battle of NL West teams on Wednesday night (8 p.m. PT, TBS).
Arizona won 11 of the 19 matchups with Colorado this season, though the two clubs split their 10 games at Chase Field in Phoenix.
This is the first trip to the postseason for the Rockies since 2009. For the Diamondbacks, this is their first playoff berth since 2011. They have met one other time in the postseason, with Colorado sweeping the 2007 National League Championship Series over Arizona during their incredible Rocktober march to the World Series.
Zack Greinke will start the Wild Card Game for the Diamondbacks after a strong second season in Arizona, posting a 3.20 ERA in his 32 starts with 215 strikeouts in 202⅓ innings. The 33-year-old has a 3.55 ERA in nine postseason starts, with 54 strikeouts and nine walks in 58⅓ innings.
The Rockies haven’t officially named their starter for Wednesday, but Jon Gray lines up to start for Colorado. The 25-year-old was 10-4 with a 3.67 ERA in 20 starts this season with 112 strikeouts in 110⅓ innings. Down the stretch, the right-hander had a 2.44 ERA in his final 11 starts.
“When he’s on the bump,” third baseman Nolan Arenado told Nick Groke of the Denver Post, “we feel really good about our chances.”
Those two pitchers will have to contend with a pair of formidable offenses, including a trio of MVP candidates in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks, and third baseman Nolan Arenado and center fielder Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies. And then there is outfielder J.D. Martinez, who has a whopping 29 home runs in just 60 games since his trade to Arizona from the Detroit Tigers on July 18.
The winner of the NL Wild Card Game will advance to play another divisional foe with the Los Angeles Dodgers waiting in the NL Division Series, which begins Friday, Oct. 6 at Dodger Stadium.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Chase Field, Phoenix, Ariz.
- TV: TBS
- Streaming: TBS.com and the TBS app
The NL Wild Card Game will kick off TBS’ television coverage this postseason, with the network broadcasting every game of the National League playoffs, through both NLDS and the NLCS.
Rockies vs. Diamondbacks news & notes
Steven Martano thinks the Diamondbacks should aggressively use reliever Archie Bradley after Greinke on Wednesday, from Beyond the Box Score:
While Blackmon is a decent home run threat, LeMahieu is not. In either case having Bradley waiting in the wings to face the heart of the order, namely Carlos Gonzalez, Nolan Arenado, and Trevor Story, would likely yield the best results. The thing is, the Diamondbacks best chance to win this game is getting as many of the 27 outs out of Greinke and Bradley as possible.
Trevor Story made some changes to his batting stance, and it has paid off with a power surge in September, per Groke in the Denver Post:
“When I’m getting ready to hit, I’m not thinking too much, not over-analyzing, just really try to let my natural ability play out,” Story said. “I’ve said it probably a million times: It’s a game of ups and downs and you won’t always feel great. But having a good attitude has helped me for sure.”
J.D. Martinez ranks as one of the best midseason trade acquisitions in the last two decades, per Jim McLennan of AZ Snake Pit:
He’d likely be even higher, if this was based purely on offensive value. While J.D. has largely avoided obvious gaffes, he has seemed pretty slow out there, and the eye test is in line with the metrics (UZR/150 of -15.1). But that hitting... Every time he’s up at the plate, I expect something good to happen, and with Paul Goldschmidt, gives this team a 1-2 punch in the heart of the line-up that few playoff teams will be able to match. He’ll likely not be here in 2018, so enjoy him while you can!