Rockies circled this weekend on their calendars. Their magic number is dwindling. The postseason waits.

Rockies circled this weekend on their calendars. Their magic number is dwindling. The postseason waits.

The Rockies’ home slate this season is bookended by Dodgers. A three-game series to start Coors Field’s run and another to close the regular season. Both were circled on Colorado’s clubhouse schedule.

“To begin the season, we were all like, ‘Man that last series against the Dodgers could be really big for us,’ ” third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “We talked about it in spring training. We looked at the schedule. Starting with the Dodgers at home and ending with the Dodgers at home. We knew it would be big. It’s here now. It’s going to be fun.”

The Rockies start a three-game weekend set against the Dodgers on Friday with a postseason berth on the line. Their magic number is 2: Any combination of Rockies’ victories or losses by the Milwaukee Brewers adding to two will send Colorado to a wild-card playoff Wednesday at Arizona.

The Brewers will finish their regular season in St. Louis. The Cardinals were eliminated from contention after a Thursday night loss to the Cubs.

It will not be an easy stroll to the finish line. The Rockies on Friday will face Los Angeles left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, then see lefty ace Clayton Kershaw on Saturday. Rockies veteran Chad Bettis will pitch Friday, followed by rookie German Marquez on Saturday.

Sunday’s pitching matchups are not yet settled. The Rockies hope to avoid a must-win situation. Tickets are still available. The postseason waits.

“If this doesn’t get you excited, then what will get you excited?” right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said.


Looking ahead

Dodgers LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-8, 3.47 ERA) at Rockies RHP Chad Bettis (1-4, 5.72), Friday 6:10 p.m., AT&T SportsNet, 850 AM

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The two opposing pitchers who will take Coors Field’s mound Friday are throwing for potential starting spots in the postseason. Ryu has not won a game since Aug. 24. Bettis gave up just three runs in his first 14 innings after returning from cancer in August. He struggled over his next five outings before a comeback 4 2/3 innings start last week at San Diego, in which he allowed just one run. When Bettis is pitching well, he is forcing weak contact and a stream of groundouts. When it doesn’t work, his ERA climbs — his mark is 7.04 this month.

Saturday: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (18-4, 2.21 ERA) at Rockies RHP German Marquez (11-7, 4.38), 6:10 p.m., AT&T SportsNet

Sunday: Dodgers TBA at Rockies TBA, 1:10 p.m. AT&T SportsNet

End of regular season

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