Rockies head home focused on Wild Card

Rockies head home focused on Wild Card

SAN FRANCISCO -- No longer are the Rockies talking about chasing the Dodgers.

After winning three of four at home against the Giants, the Rockies set their ambitions on catching the Dodgers in the National League West race. But after a five-game losing streak during which they dropped two at home to the Dodgers and absorbed a three-game weekend sweep at the hands of the Giants, the Rockies find themselves tied with the Giants atop the NL Wild Card standings.

So the Rockies have a new focus as they open a 10-game homestand with the first of three vs. the Mets on Tuesday night.

"Everybody was talking about the division after we cut it down to three, but I think we're just worried about getting to the playoffs," Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said. "First comes first, and that's the Wild Card.

"I think we should have our focus there. If the Dodgers are caught, they're caught. But I don't think we should talk about them anymore."

The Rockies were sky high after winning three of four at home against the Giants. But the Giants' sweep Sunday showed they weren't finished. Now it's the Rockies' turn.

"Obviously, our mettle is going to be tested," manager Jim Tracy said. "That's the interesting thing about the championsihip season. We felt like we had punched the Giants pretty hard. And they stood back up. And I think if you have ambitions of playing baseball in the month of October, when you get knocked down, you've got to stand back up. And we got knocked down this weekend. Are we going to get back up?

"It's a 31-game season. The other 131 can go back over there. It's about the next 31 games that you're going to play."

The Rockies have a favorable schedule the rest of the way. A nine-game trip in the middle of the month is the only multi-city trip left, while the Giants have two of them. Granted, the Rockies have a tougher finish than the Giants -- aginast the Dodgers from Oct. 2-3, while the Giants are playing the Padres then.

But the Rockies hope to begin making their mark now.

"We've played 69 games on the road and we're above .500 [36-33] on the road," Tracy said. "We get the opportunity to go back to our place with our fans, for not a short homestand but for 10 games."

Third baseman Ian Stewart said, "It's big that we're at home. We need to win games, protect our turf, so to speak."

Pitching matchup
COL: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (12-9, 4.72 ERA)
With the Rockies off Monday, De La Rosa will start Tuesday's opener against the Mets, followed by right-handers Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Marquis. The next time the Rockies will need to name a starter is next Saturday at home against the D-backs. De La Rosa is 2-0 in seven career games against the Mets, including one start.

NYM: RHP Mike Pelfrey (9-9, 4.80 ERA)
Coming off back-to-back quality starts, Pelfrey served up 11 hits and walked five batters in last Wednesday's loss to the Marlins, spoiling his bid to win consecutive decisions for the first time since May 1 and 7. Instead, Pelfrey will begin September on a mission to finish the year with a winning record for the second straight season. That task begins against the Rockies, a team he blanked for 6 1/3 innings earlier this year, and against whom he holds a career 3-1 record and 2.35 ERA.

Catcher Yorvit Torrealba extended his hit streak to a career-best 10 games Sunday. ... De La Rosa has gone 12-3 with a 4.31 ERA since June 1. The wins are the most in baseball during that period. ... Todd Helton's three-hit game against the Giants on Sunday was his 10th such effort this season. ... One good omen for the Rockies: Stewart, who is hitting .231 in a year in which he has had trouble finding consistency, went 6-for-12 against the Giants. "I'm seeing the ball well, and that's it -- nothing more really to it," Stewart said. "I'm still doing the same routine I've been doing."

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On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• KOA 850

Up next
• Wednesday: Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 12-10, 3.33) vs. Mets (Tim Redding, 2-4, 5.94), 6:40 p.m. MT
• Thursday: Rockies (Jason Marquis, 14-9, 3.60) vs. Mets (Pat Misch, 0-1, 3.41), 1:10 p.m. MT
• Friday: Rockies (Jason Hammel, 8-7, 4.40) vs. Diamondbacks (TBD), 7:10 p.m. MT

Thomas Harding is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.