Rockies remain motivated despite West elimination

Weiss hoping injury-ravaged squad will avoid 100-loss season

Rockies remain motivated despite West elimination

DENVER -- It may have seemed like a foregone conclusion but lost in all the commotion of a six-run blown lead was the fact that Rockies were officially eliminated from the National League West race Tuesday night.

With the Rockies losing, 12-7, to the Giants and the Dodgers beating the Nationals, 4-1, Colorado was 23 games behind Los Angeles with 23 games left to play in the division race.

Technically, the Rockies would be tied with the Dodgers at 78-84 were Colorado to run the table and the Dodgers to lose out. But with six of the Dodgers' final games against the Giants, San Francisco would at least finish with the unmatchable total of 82 wins in the best-case scenario for the Rockies.

That doesn't mean there's nothing left to play for, though.

The Rockies are 18 1/2 games back in the NL Wild Card chase, so there is still slim hope for a postseason berth. But more importantly, the Rockies are hoping to avoid the first 100-loss season in franchise history.

The Rockies and Angels are the only two franchises left in Major League Baseball without a 100-loss season in their histories. To keep that blemish off their record, the Rockies will have to finish at least 8-15.

Even with major injuries to the likes of Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer, manager Walt Weiss has never been in the excuse business. And he's going to do everything in his power to make sure the Rockies finish the season right.

"It would bother me," Weiss said of a 100-loss season. "Regardless of how you slice it, when it's all said and done, it will be a disappointing year. But 100 losses would be piling it on."

Worth noting
Ben Paulsen received his first Major League start in right field Wednesday. In 630 Minor League games, Paulsen made four appearances in right and two in left. He played 606 Minor League games at first and made all eight of his previous starts in the Majors at first as well.

• Right-hander Eddie Butler was scheduled to start the first game of Double-A Tulsa's five-game playoff series against the Arkansas Travelers on Wednesday. Depending on the Drillers' postseason run in the Texas League, Butler remains a strong candidate to be called up this September.

Butler, the Rockies' No. 2-ranked prospect, made his Major League debut earlier this season, allowing six runs to the Dodgers in 5 1/3 innings. Shortly after, he was shut down with right rotator-cuff inflammation. When he returned from the disabled list, the Rockies sent him back down to the Minors for some additional fine-tuning.

Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.