Rockies Wild Card Ambitions: Mission Near Impossible (But There's a Ray of Hope)

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The Rockies road to October is far from a spiffy new interstate.

It's more like a dirt road that has been hit hard by recent rainstorms.

It exists, but it's going to take some special effort to navigate the dangerous path that lays ahead.

The worst month in franchise history -- a 6-19 July -- has seen the Rockies go from having control of the second spot in the NL West Wild Card Race to a long-shot to be playing any meaningful games come October.

After opening the month by taking two of three from the Giants at Coors Field last weekend, the Rockies open a two-game series against the AL West-leading Astros at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night. They find themselves seven games back in the NL Wild Card race. But more than that, there are six teams between them and the Nationals, who currently hold the No. 2 NL Wild Card slot.

They are the first team in the NL to have a negative ranking in terms of making the Division Series, and are clinging to a two-percent chance to getting to the NL Wild Card game for the third year in a row, according to The Padres, Pirates and Marlins are the only NL teams facing bigger odds against advancing to October than the Rockies, who are coming off back-to-back post-season appearances for the first time in franchise history.

Consider that since the advent of the second wild card for the 2012 post-season, there has not been a Wild Card entry that won fewer than 85 games. The average has been 88 wins. And the highest win total for a Wild Card has been 91 wins.

Well, the Rockies, who go into Tuesday's game in Houston with a 52-60 record, would have to go 33-17 to merely win 85 games. Now, the Rockies did go on a 28-15 run after losing 12 of the first 15 games of the season, but even that wouldn't be enough. And if the bar is rasied from that all-time low of 85 wins, the Rockies would have to go 36-14 to reach the 88 win total and 39-11 to win 91 games.

It's not impossible. It is, however, improbable.

The Rockies do have a schedule that has them tied for the second msot friendly remaining schedule in the NL -- behind the Giants and Padres, and tied with the Mets and Nationals.