Rocky road

Good thing this Astros-Rockies series only lasted three games, since I’m fresh out of dopey headlines. With the Astros win today the Cubs are now one game back with 10 games to play.

Every game is critical at this point, of course, but the next six could be the ones that determine who wins the division. The Cubs play four against the Pirates and the first two of a three-game series against the Reds. The two teams are 33 games below .500 and both traded away a good bulk of their talent at the trading deadline, but both want to spoil the Cubs’ chances.

The Astros, meanwhile, take on the Cardinals and the Giants, who are a combined 38 games over .500. The Cardinals want to show that they are not as bad as they’ve played this September. The Giants want home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs.

If the Cubs are not ahead or tied for first after this six-game stretch, it is unlikely they’ll be able to win it. The Astros finish with a four-game series in Milwaukee, which could be dicey but the Cubs certainly don’t want to rely on the Brew Crew to help them make up ground at the end.

Ah, a pennant — er, division — race. Is there anything more nerve wracking?