The Colorado Rockies outlasted the Chicago Cubs in 13 innings in the National League wild-card game on Tuesday night, earning the right to take on the NL Central champion Milwaukee Brewers in the NLDS.
The series’ five potential games have dates, and Game 1, Game 2, and Game 3 have start times.
- Game 1: Rockies at Brewers on Thursday, October 4 at 5:07 p.m. ET
- Game 2: Rockies at Brewers on Friday, October 5 at 4:15 p.m. ET
- Game 3: Brewers at Rockies on Sunday, October 7 at 4:07 p.m. ET
- Game 4: Brewers at Rockies on Monday, October 8, time TBD
- Game 5: Rockies at Brewers on Wednesday, October 10, time TBD
The teams have yet to reveal which pitchers are slotted to start in Game 1, but expect Wade Miley to take the hill for the Brewers at home. It’s his turn in the rotation — he last pitched on Saturday — and he’s been perhaps Milwaukee’s best pitcher when healthy this year, posting a 2.57 ERA in 16 starts. Beyond that, look for Gio Gonzalez to go in Game 2. He pitched on Sunday, and has posted a 2.23 ERA in five starts since being acquired from the Washington Nationals in late August.
Jon Gray pitched for the Rockies on Saturday, following a Friday start from Kyle Freeland, who dominated in the wild-card game on Tuesday. But the 26-year-old Gray surrendered five earned runs in two frames in that contest, and has a 7.11 ERA in his last seven starts. Tyler Anderson went for Colorado on Sunday, blanking the Nationals for 7.2 innings.
How the Brewers Got Here
The 96-67 Brewers ended their season on an eight-game winning streak, besting the Cubs, 3-1, in an extra regular season game to determine the winner of the division.
They led the National League in steals and finished second in home runs, thanks in large part to outfielder Christian Yelich, the likely MVP who mashed 36 dingers, swiped 22 bags, drove in 110 runs, and led the league in batting average (.326) and slugging percentage (.598).
Milwaukee’s pitching staff posted an ERA of 3.77, good for fourth in the league, and was carried by the relief corps, whose 3.47 ERA was the NL’s second-best bullpen mark.
How the Rockies Got Here
Freeland was damn near untouchable on Tuesday night, surrendering four hits and a walk in 6.2 innings of shutout work. The Rockies scraped out a run against Jon Lester in the first on a sacrifice fly from Nolan Arenado, but the Cubs ace kept Colorado scoreless through the rest of his six innings of work.
A Javier Baez double tied things at 1-1 in the eighth. There the score remained until the 13th, when Trevor Story, Gerardo Parra, and Tony Wolters strung together three two-out singles to take a 2-1 lead that breakout reliever Scott Oberg protected to punch the Rockies’ ticket to Milwaukee.
Colorado scored the second-most runs in the National League in 2018, but that’s to be expected in the offense-friendly confines (and altitude) of Coors Field.
While their pitching numbers weren’t particularly pretty thanks to the aforementioned conditions of Rocky Mountains baseball, the Rockies’ staff gave the team a chance to succeed this season. Behind Freeland, No. 2 starter German Marquez took a huge leap at age 23, posting a 3.77 ERA.
The squad benefitted from career seasons out of relievers Adam Ottavino (2.43 ERA) and Oberg (2.45), as well as the midseason acquisition of Seunghwan Oh (2.53 ERA since being traded by the Toronto Blue Jays). And beyond that trio is closer Wade Davis, who led the NL with 43 saves.