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June 28, 2010 at 11:46 am ET
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Pick A Number: 3 – 5 – 7 – 9

Those aren’t your winning lottery numbers this evening… but one of those numbers will be in the Rockies GB column in Thursday’s newspaper after their series in San Diego.

The Rockies can literally be anywhere from right in the thick of the race, to hanging tough, to hanging on by a thread, to on the verge of unloading at the trading deadline, all based on the next three games.

Here’s the schedule they’re looking at AFTER the three games in San Diego.

In the division

  • Arizona (6 away, 3 home)
  • Los Angeles (6 away, 6 home)
  • San Diego (3 away, 6 home)
  • San Francisco (3 away, 9 home)

I said weeks ago when the Rockies went 3-4 on a roadtrip through Chicago, Houston and Kansas City, that they are going to have to win the division by winning in the division. That’s something they’ve struggled with in the past, but looking at the schedule and the standings as they currently stand, that’s the only way they can get anything positive done in 2010.

The Rockies can’t afford to begin this process in August or September.  It has to begin this week.

Outside division

  • Atlanta (3 home)
  • Chicago (3 home)
  • Cincinnati (3 away, 4 home)
  • Florida (4 away)
  • Milwaukee (3 home)
  • New York (3 away)
  • Philadelphia (4 away)
  • Pittsburgh (4 away, 3 home)
  • St. Louis (4 away, 3 home)

The non-division schedule is no piece of cake either. I don’t think I’m going too far out on a limb when I say the wildcard safety net the Rockies have relied in their past isn’t going to be there for them this season. Not with San Diego, Atlanta, New York and Cincinnati all playing like teams that are serious about contending.

Sure it’s a safe bet at least two of those teams will run out of gas, but that still doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room with Philadelphia, St. Louis, Los Angeles and San Francisco casually strolling along and biding their time to make a move.

So basically what I’m suggesting right now…

If the number the Rockies pick isn’t 3, or at the very worst 5, tentatively prepare your goodbyes for Brad Hawpe and a couple others in July.  That’s not a Rockies fan being a downer or giving up on the season.  That’s a Rockies fan staring the reality of the situation right in the face.

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