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Game #80 Preview: 7/3, Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies

Could tonight's Rockies' starter become the first 20-game loser in the NL since Phil Niekro?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Kendrick
RHP, 3-10, 6.07
Chase Anderson
RHP, 4-2, 3.66
Charlie Blackmon - CF A.J. Pollock - CF
DJ LeMahieu - 2B David Peralta - LF
Troy Tulowitzki - SS Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Nolan Arenado - 3B Yasmany Tomas - RF
Carlos Gonzalez - RF Jake Lamb - 3B
Wilin Rosario - 1B Welington Castillo - C
Nick Hundley - C Chris Owings - 2B
Brandon Barnes - LF Cliff Pennington - SS
Kyle Kendrick - RHP Chase Anderson - RHP

If we can inflict another loss on Kendrick tonight, he'd tie the Colorado franchise record for losses before the All-Star break, putting him alongside Darryl Kile, who went 5-11 in the first half of 1998. With another start to come for Kendrick, against Atlanta, he could at this point end up with a dozen losses. The last National League pitcher with more than that was Jose Lima for the 2000 Astros, who was 2-13 [In the AL, the last two were both on the 2003 Tigers: Mike Maroth and Jeremy Bonderman, who combined to go 7-26 before the break that year] For us, the only pitcher to lose more than 10 was Willie Blair, who was 3-12 in our first season. Brandon McCarthy reached 10 last year.

Kendrick is currently level with the Brewers' Matt Garza, both one behind the Phillies' Aaron Harang, who leads the majors with 11 L's coming into play today. All three have a chance at a rare feat: the 20-loss season. As you can imagine, it's a lot harder these days to reach 20 losses than 20 wins. To do the latter, you have to be very good. To do the former, you have to be very bad, and play on a team which, for whatever reason, doesn't bother to replace you for being very bad. There has only been one 20-loss pitcher since 1980; the aforementioned Maroth, who ended 9-21 for those woeful Tigers. No-one has passed even 18 losses in the past decade, but this might just be the year.

On the D-backs side, we'll be hoping Chase can do a better job of keeping the ball in the park than he has over his last two outings, allowing six home-runs in total. No NL pitcher since 2004 has allowed three home-runs in three straight games: oddly, Harang was the last [the D-backs' Edgar Gonzalez also did it the same season] The Padres' James Shields is the only NL hurler since 2013 to be alongside Anderson, with back-to-back three homer appearances. Remarkably, he managed to win both those games, despite an ERA of 7.94  The second was against Arizona at Chase on May 8; he gave up four home-runs there, but San Diego won 6-5.