Preview: Game #45, Diamondbacks @ Rockies

USA TODAY Sports

A little over a month ago, the Diamondbacks also flew back from the East Coast to a series at Coors Field. How have things gone since?

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Patrick Corbin
LHP, 6-0, 1.52

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Jon Garland
RHP, 3-4, 4.89

Diamondbacks Line-up

  1. Gerardo Parra, RF
  2. Didi Gregorius, SS
  3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  4. Eric Chavez, 3B
  5. Martin Prado, 2B
  6. Jason Kubel, LF
  7. Miguel Montero, C
  8. A.J. Pollock, CF
  9. Patrick Corbin, P

At that time, the Rockies were leading the NL West, and it took a ninth-inning comeback in the Sunday finale for the Diamondbacks to avoid the sweep. We scored four runs in the first two games combined, and there was suggestions that the problematic schedule - an evening game against the Yankees on Thursday night, which went extra innings and wasn't completed until 11:15pm, followed by a trans-continental flight, arriving in Denver at 5:30 am - let the players feeling flat and sluggish. Said Eric Chavez, "I sound like a whiny baby, but it’s the truth. We’ve been flat and I think that’s why."

Hopefully, no such issues today, with yesterday's game in Florida being done and dusted by four. Not that it had any long-lasting effects: since that series, Arizona has gone 15-11, while Colorado has the reverse record of 11-15 - despite having actually outscored their opponents over that time. But as the series against the Giants showed, they can play tough, especially at Coors, where they are 14-8. Short of a complete meltdown (and by that, I mean losing more than three-quarters of their games the rest of the way), a certain pundit's prediction of 53 wins for the Rockies looks likely to be wildly inaccurate. Yeah, I know. This is my shocked face.

On previous form, today's match-up should be a good chance for the Diamondbacks. Our side, we have Patrick Corbin, who has churned out quality-plus start after quality-plus start, to the extent that his current streak of nine games, allowing two runs over six or more innings, has been surpassed only twice in the live-ball era. He beat Colorado in Phoenix, when the teams met there at the end of April. allowing two runs in 6.2 innings. For the Rockies, there's Jon Garland, who was picked apart for the loss the last time he faced us, in the same series at Chase Field, allowing eight hits and two walks over six innings.

However, my concerns remain on the offensive side, where - after a brief resurrection on Friday in Florida - the Diamondbacks appear still to be struggling. Over the last 11 games, we have been held to three runs or less/fewer/not as many/a lower figure in nine of them. Although we've done pretty well, thanks to some outstanding pitching performances, that won't cut it in this series. Since the start of the 2010 season, teams Coors who score three or...oh, you know what I mean, have gone 12-77 in those games. Time for the Diamondbacks offense to pick it up and carry the team for a few days.

On the other hand, it appears that Colorado might have turned the humidor up (or down) a few notches. All pitchers this year at Coors have a .746 OPS, which is 125 points below what they achieved last year in the same venue, and is ranked only fourth among the National League parks. As we're now into the second quarter of the season, it's getting harder to blame that on statistical aberration or small sample size, and one wonders if something has changed about the conditions there. I prefer it that way, to be honest: I hated watching games there and knowing that no lead was ever safe. Mind you, Colorado blew a six-run one against the Giants, so Coors isn't dead yet!

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