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What's next for Rockies over final two games

September 29, 2018

DENVER -- Charlie Blackmon, whose second-inning homer started the Rockies on their way to their postseason berth-clinching 5-2 victory over the Nationals on Friday night, didn't spend much time in the clubhouse celebration scene."We've still got a couple of games to play, so we're going to do the very best we

DENVER -- Charlie Blackmon, whose second-inning homer started the Rockies on their way to their postseason berth-clinching 5-2 victory over the Nationals on Friday night, didn't spend much time in the clubhouse celebration scene.
"We've still got a couple of games to play, so we're going to do the very best we can," Blackmon said, after posing for a few pictures with teammates, then bolting to turn his attention to games against the Nationals on Saturday and Sunday.

Here's what's next for the Rockies:
• Friday's victory reduced the magic number over the Dodgers to two for the Rockies to celebrate their first National League West title, in their 26th season. However, if the teams finish tied, they will meet at Dodger Stadium on Monday for a tiebreaker, by virtue of Los Angeles having won the season series, 12-7.
If the Rockies win the West, either outright or via a tiebreaker, they will play the NL East champion Braves in the NL Division Series, which will start Thursday.
If that tiebreaker vs. Los Angeles does occur, the loser will be the second NL Wild Card and will travel Tuesday to play either the Cubs or the Brewers -- who are still battling for the NL Central crown and the top record in the NL, with the team that finishes in second place having already clinched the top Wild Card spot.
• In another important race to the end of the regular season, the Rockies and the Braves have identical 90-70 records through play Friday.
The Rockies, by virtue of a 5-2 record vs. Atlanta this season, hold the tiebreaker for home-field advantage in a potential series. If both teams win out, or if they manage to finish in a tie and the Rockies win the West, they will have home-field advantage in the NL Division Series.
But before crunching the possible postseason combinations, the Rockies have two games that the Nationals do not want to make easy. They could end up throwing two top-flight pitchers at the Rockies.
Washington has announced that righty Stephen Strasburg (9-7, 3.77 ERA) will start Saturday against Rockies righty Jon Gray (12-8, 4.91). Also, righty Max Scherzer (18-7, 2.23) said Friday he wants to pitch against the Rockies on Sunday if that game is still an important one. The Rockies have not announced a starter, but the possibility exists of turning to righty German Marquez (14-10, 3.76) on three days' rest after his 11-strikeout performance in a win over the Phillies on Wednesday night.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.