If football is a game of inches Andrew Cashner Jersey , baseball is a game of millimeters"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Scaling the RocksPebble ReportRockpileRockies Game ThreadsRockies Fan ExperienceMLB PlayoffsRocktoberScaling the RocksRockies’ playoff fate turned on a few unlucky playsNew,19commentsIf football is a game of inches, baseball is a game of millimetersByAdam Peterson@playerTBNLOct9, 2018,9:00am Rockies’ playoff fate turned on a few unlucky playsThe Colorado Rockies finished 2018 with a record of 91-72, the second most wins in franchise history, including a 44-38 record on the road, by far the best mark in franchise history. It took a 9-1 run to end the season to get there, but it was enough to secure their second straight playoff appearance for the first time in franchise history. The point is this team did things no other team has done in franchise history. Don’t forget that.In the coming days there will be plenty of celebrations of all that was good from 2018. But first, we have to address the worst part of 2018, namely, how it ended. What if...The Dodgers had lost one more game?That 9-1 record over the last 11 days of September set the Rockies up to do something they had never done before: win a National League West title and secure home-field advantage in a playoff round. Now, we can be mad that the Los Angeles Dodgers went 7-3 in that span, or that the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants combined to go 1-6 against the Dodgers at home in the month of September when just one more Dodgers’ loss would’ve made history for the Rockies. But the Rockies went 1-5 against Los Angeles in September, so who can you really blame? It still makes you wonder, though, what if...Tony Wolters hadn’t dropped that third strike?So it was off to Chavez Ravine on October 1 to play the second Game 163 tiebreaker in Rockies history, this time with the second Wild Card as a fall back option. German Marquez took the mound, fresh off his record-setting performance the previous Wednesday. The game started well enough, with Marquez striking out four through three innings. He also struck out the leadoff hitter in the fourth...only to have him reach on a passed ball from Tony Wolters. Marquez got the next two batters to strike out but he still had to pitch. Instead of Cody Bellinger leading off the bottom of the fifth, he hit a two-run home run to break the game open. Four extra batters meant German was going through the lineup the third time in the fifth inning, and Max Muncy made him pay (again) by hitting (another) two-run shot to effectively end the Rockies’ shot at a division title.We don’t live in a universe where we can examine counterfactuals, but it’s hard not to wonder how the game would’ve gone had Wolters caught that pitch, or at least corralled it in time to finish the strikeout at first base. Maybe Marquez cruises through the bottom of the Dodgers lineup in the fifth and gets to the sixth before handing off to a well-rested bullpen. Maybe the Rockies pull it out and secure their first ever division title and host the Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS instead of traveling to Chicago.Or maybe all Dave Roberts’ lefties end up getting to him anyway. Besides Chance Sisco Jersey , Walker Buehler diced up the Rockies pretty good that day anyway and (as we’ll see) you can’t win if you can’t score. Really, it’s probably too many counterfactuals to consider. But what if...The ivy doesn’t swallow DJ’s double?The Rockies lost Game 163 and had to travel to Chicago for their second straight appearance in the Wild Card Game. There are probably at least a dozen different moments worth examining in this game (Like, what if Ottavino gets Baez to strike out in the eighth?), but most of those are about execution. There was one moment in particular that turned on some luck. In the top of the first, Charlie Blackmon led off with a walk and then DJ LeMahieu laced a 112 mph double into the left-centerfield gap. But, this is Wrigley Field, and strange things happen.A ball into the ivy is a ground rule double and despite the fact that Chuck was rounding second when the Almora threw up his hands, it was second and third with nobody out. Arenado stepped to the plate and popped a sac fly to right-center to give the Rockies their only run for 12 innings.Had the ball popped out of the ivy, though, it’s 1-0 Rockies with nobody out, DJ on second, and Nolan at the plate. It’s not unreasonable to like the Rockies’ chances to add on, even against Jon Lester. Of course, the Rockies ended up winning this game, so it’s a moot point, but what if...Charlie’s ninth inning foul ball lands two inches to the left?The Rockies took their Wild Card Game victory into Milwaukee to face the NL Central champs. Antonio Senzatela pitched admirably, allowing just a two-run home run to presumptive MVP Christian Yelich over five innings. It was 2-0 Brewers with their 1.25 ERA closer Jeremy Jeffress on the mound. Gerardo Parra and Matt Holliday led off with singles and then Charlie Blackmon sent a ball deep into the right-field corner.The ball was (rightly) deemed foul on review, but it seemed to be a cruel fate. Charlie did manage to single home the Rockies’ first run four pitches later. DJ LeMahieu reached on an error to load the and Nolan launched another sac fly to tie the game. A TOOTBLAN at third by Chuck and a Story strikeout later and Jeffress was out of it.Had that ball from Charlie landed two inches to the left, it’s likely ruled fair and the Rockies have a tie game with no outs in the ninth and the heart of the order coming up. Again, it’s possible the top of the ninth ends with the same result anyway. But what if...Tony Wolters catches that foul tip?Yelich led off the bottom of the 10th with a walk and was standing on third with two outs and Mike Moustakas facing Adam Ottavino. Otto got him down two strikes then threw a 96 mph fastball at the top of the zone. (I advise Rockies fans to stop the video at the 23 second mark).It’s a great pitch in the right situation, but Moustakas was just able to nick the ball enough that Wolters couldn’t catch it. The next pitch, of course, Otto tries to go to the same place and this time Moustakas gets enough to end the game for the Brewers.Had Moustakas swung through that first 0-2 pitch, or had he tipped it in a way that Tony still catches it http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-j.j.-hardy-jersey , the inning is over and the Rockies lead off the 11th with the pitcher’s spot and then the top of the lineup. Maybe they complete the comeback and, at worst, the series goes to four games. Or maybe they lose it in the bottom of the 11th, or 12th, or so on. But what if...鈽?鈽?鈽匫f course, exercises like these can go on ad infinitum. The Rockies, of course, had their fair share of bounces go their way over the last week. And there were plenty of opportunities where players simply didn’t execute. If nothing else this goes to show just how much good or bad fortune goes into any team’s ultimate success or failure, especially when you get down into tiny, one to three game samples. These tiny bounces show just how much mere millimeters can change the outcome of a game and the trajectory of a season. While it’s tempting to think the Rockies might still be playing had these bounces gone differently, baseball is made up of far more than bounces. A closer, updated look at what’s already on their projected ‘record’ payroll."WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Farmers onlyFeaturesPlayoffsHistory/Hall of FameOff-seasonPeer into the FutureHot StoveJust how much money do the Cincinnati Reds have to spend this winter?New,51commentsA closer, updated look at what’s already on their projected ‘record’ payroll.around a ramp-up of $15 million from their 2018 payroll, but given the way baseball salaries escalate with service time and the arbitration process, a good portion of that might already be baked in.With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what we already know about the projected payroll, thanks in large part to the estimated arbitration raises recently released by MLB Trade Rumors and their generally rock-solid model.Players already under contract for 2019: $62.125 millionJoey Votto, 1B -$25 millionHomer Bailey, RHP - $23 millionTucker Barnhart, C - $2.5 millionEugenio Suarez, 3B - $7 millionDavid Hernandez, RHP - $2.5 millionJared Hughes, RHP - $2.125 millionArbitration-eligible players for 2019: $28.2 millionScooter Gennett Caleb Joseph Jersey , 2B - $10.7 million (Arb-3)Billy Hamilton, CF - $5.9 million (Arb-3)Jose Peraza, SS - $3.6 million (Arb-1, Super Two)Anthony DeSclafani, RHP - $2.1 million (Arb-2)Michael Lorenzen, RHP - $1.9 million (Arb-2)Curt Casali, C - $1.3 million (Arb-1)Wild Card: ~$7.7 millionRaisel Igleisas, RHP - under contract for $5 million, but might opt into the arbitration process due to clause in his contract permitting him to do soScott Schebler, OF - $2.7 million (Arb-1, per MLBTR’s estimate); finished the season with 2.132 years of service time, putting him firmly on the bubble for qualifying for Super Two status, and if he falls just short of the cut-off, he’ll only be due the ~$555,000 league minimum again in 2019Estimated total (14 players): $95.325 million______________________________________________________________________________________________Barring any outside additions or inside subtractions, those 14 players will account for some $95.325 million for the 2019 payroll. If the Reds choose to fill the remaining 11 spots on the 25-man roster with pre-arbitration players at the estimated league-minimum salary of $555,000 each for the 2019 season, that will add an additional $6.105 million to their payroll.Estimated total 2019 payroll (25 players currently in the organization: $101.43 million______________________________________________________________________________________________The Reds are, obviously, on the look for major outside additions. They’ve spoken in earnest about addressing the issues with their pitching staff, particularly their starting rotation woes. That will certainly come at a significant cost, which will come either via free agent signings or by assuming the contracts of players on other teams via trade.There is also some nebulous area surrounding a pair of Reds entering their final years of team control. Scooter Gennett and Billy Hamilton are the lone Reds in that situation, and their combined estimated arbitration salaries are pushing $17 million for 2019. Given the presence of Nick Senzel behind Scooter and Hamilton’s continued woes offensively, there’s always the chance of those two players being shopped this winter. Although Roberto Alomar Jersey , given the affinity for both from team owner Bob Castellini, there’s always the chance those salary numbers for 2019 become irrelevant by longer-term contract extensions for both of them.It’s also worth noting that there could still certainly be additions made to the position-player group despite all of the everyday positions seemingly accounted for. The trade scenarios of Scooter and Billy above certainly are in-play, but a quick glance at what could well be the everyday bench reveals a need, too. Some combination of pre-arb players like Phillip Ervin, Dilson Herrera, Alex Blandino, Brandon Dixon, Blake Trahan, Mason Williams, and Curt Casali will likely form the everyday bench; however, of that group, only Williams is a left-handed hitter, and since there’s a very real chance he’ll be in AAA again to begin the year, that would leave the Reds without a lefty bat for pinch-hit and double-switch scenarios. Adding that - especially if it’s a veteran - would add a few more bucks to the payroll, too.Assuming there are no subtractions from the existing core, however, there should be no less than $15 million for the Reds to add this winter. Whether that all goes to one pitcher, or not, remains to be seen, as does whether the Reds merely pip their previous record payroll by the smallest of margins or blow past it to make the number of additions it might well take to actually give the 2019 season some bit of promise.*All existing contract numbers were pulled from Cot’s Contracts, a resource I’d highly suggest you turn to when investigating the details of all MLB contracts for players, managers, and front office personnel alike.