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09/28/10 6:52 PM ET

No playoffs, but CarGo eyes title, rare feat

This time, on the way to Rocktober, they just got rocked.

Renowned for furious stretch drives, the Rockies' playoff hopes dead-ended with Tuesday's 9-7 loss to the Dodgers, their eighth loss in nine games turning into a double-elimination event.

Earlier, Atlanta's victory over Florida knocked the Rockies from the National League Wild Card race.

So, going into Wednesday afternoon's home finale, the undivided attention falls on Carlos Gonzalez, a few days away from a couple distinctions, one of them quite rare. With an average of .341 after his 2-for-5 on Tuesday, Gonzalez is nearing an NL batting title with a 16-point advantage over Cincinnati's Joey Votto.

But wearing batting crowns is old hat to the Rockies, who captured six batting titles in their first 17 years of existence. However, to lead the league in batting while also ranking in the top four in both homers and RBIs ... now there's something turned in by only five players in a half-century.

With 117 RBIs -- tied with Albert Pujols for the league lead -- and 34 homers, Gonzalez is in prime position to turn the rare feat accomplished by Hank Aaron (1959), Billy Williams (1972), Dave Parker (1978), Pujols (2003) and Matt Holliday (2007).

Trying to throw a wrench into those plans will be Dodgers righty Carlos Monasterios, who will be making his 13th start.

Originally, Clayton Kershaw was due to make the start, until manager Joe Torre decided that 204 1/3 innings were already enough of a load on his 22-year-old arm.

So the only 22-year-old pitching in Coors Field will be Jhoulys Chacin, the rookie right-hander who will seek to join Ubaldo Jimenez and Jason Hammel as Colorado pitchers in double figures in wins.

Dodgers: Ellis' continues torrid month
A.J. Ellis' unconscious September continued with his 2-for-3 in Tuesday's game. Ellis is batting .483 (14-for-29) this month. ... Matt Kemp played in his 200th consecutive game on Tuesday, the longest active streak in the Majors.

Rockies: First losing homestand under Tracy
At 1-4 with only Wednesday's finale to go, the Rockies are experiencing their first losing homestand since Jim Tracy became their manager on May 29, 2009. Under Tracy, they are 96-45 at Coors Field.

Worth noting
Ted Lilly, with one more start remaining, still has a chance to become the third Dodgers pitcher ever to give up more home runs than walks. Since being acquired from the Cubs at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, Lilly has 13 of each. The two with precedent had also spent partial seasons with the Dodgers -- Don Newcombe in 1958 (11 homers and eight walks prior to his trade to Cincinnati) and Terry Mulholland in 2002 (10 and seven before being dealt to Cleveland). Another lefty, Cliff Lee, has a comparable full-season split between the Mariners and the Rangers: 16 homers and 18 walks (including two intentional).

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


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