There’s nothing quite like playoff baseball, and Colorado Rockies fans are about to get a full dose. The National League Division Series begins today at about 12:30 p.m., with the Rockies out east taking on the Philadelphia Phillies in a best-of-five series.
Some bad news dropped yesterday, as team manager Jim Tracy announced that Jorge De La Rosa (pictured), the team’s winningest pitcher, will be held out of the series following a left-groin injury suffered over the weekend (via The Denver Post).
He may return if the Rockies make it past the Phillies, but the team will have to do without him for the first round.
The rest of the lineup was also announced: Third baseman Garrett Atkins will start in place of Ian Stewart, who has a low batting average but has shown intermittent power and phenomenal defense most of the year. Outfielder Seth Smith will come off the bench, despite his hitting left-handed pitchers a lot better than Brad Hawpe, who has struggled since returning to the team after the All Star break. Pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez will start tomorrow’s game.
Both teams’ players tell MLB.com that game one will set the tone for the entire series. The Rockies dominated the Phillies in game one of the NLDS on their magical run to the World Series in 2007, and the Phillies took the first game from the Milwaukee Brewers last year.
One of the Rockies’ biggest fans is former manager Clint Hurdle, who was fired at the end of May after a lackluster 18-28 start. Hurdle tells The New York Times he holds no ill will toward the team, which he managed for eight years, and has enjoyed the family time. But, as soon as the game starts today, he’ll be focused on the Rockies.