The NL West came down to the final weekend, and it was a lot of fun, but we're glad it's over, and now the focus shifts to the playoffs. Our club is really excited about the playoffs.

It's been quite a year so far. The best way I can describe this season is that it's been crazy but fun. That's baseball. It isn't very often a team will take something wire-to-wire and have the playoffs locked up very early. We were no exception. We had to battle all the way to the final couple of games.

We didn't see the way the second half unfolded for us as anything extraordinary, really. It wasn't a hot streak or a great run. We expected to play like this all along. We were a good team from the beginning, and we just didn't play well at the start.

We had our rough stretch very early in the season, which made it real glaring when you looked at the standings. Most teams go through stretches like that -- that's just the way the game is -- but the most important part is how we finished.

As soon as the celebration was over on Thursday and we knew we were the NL Wild Card team, we started thinking about the Phillies right away. That's who we have, and we'll take things one day at a time, one game at a time. We'll travel there and it will be a huge series.

We played in Philadelphia in 2007, and the crowd was really into it. We expect the same this time. We also look forward to a big crowd when we come back home for Game 3.

Some people are wondering if being in a similar situation two years ago might help to give us more confidence heading into this series, but we're a confident group in general. We know the Phillies are a good team, and I think they know we're a good team. It should be a good series, and we are looking forward to it.

They're going to throw some real good starting pitching at us. Plus, they have a good lineup. But we have that, too.

You just aren't going to run into any bad teams in the playoffs. We expect them to come out and be ready to play with a good rotation and a good lineup. We're going to have to do the best we can to counter that.

To win this series, I don't think there is one exact area we'll have to excel in. It's baseball and that means it is real simple: We have to pitch well, we have to hit well, and we have to defend well.

The Rockies-Phillies National League Division Championship Series begins on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Outfielder Seth Smith played in a career-high 133 games this season for Colorado, a team that was 12 games under .500 on June 3.