Arizona Diamondbacks (75-81) vs Colorado Rockies (66-90)
Before I start, I'd like to thank both Jim for giving me a shot at this, and all you readers for reading my previews every week. This is my last preview of the season, and you may or may not hear from me during the offseason. We shall see. Anyways, enough rambling, let's get to baseball.
The D-Backs are looking good to close out the season, winning 6 of their last 10 games, all against divisional opponents. This season has exceeded my expectations, and Arizona has a small chance to finish at a .500 record if they win out. In this series we could see some interesting in game moves made, with the team more focused on seeing what they have for next year than winning these meaningless games. An example of that strategy could be seen on Sunday, where starter Zack Godley pitched 3 innings, followed by Jhoulys Chacin who pitched another 3. The September call-ups have done pretty well, combining for a .307 OBP. Expect to see a lot of infielder Brandon Drury, and outfielders Socrates Brito and Peter O' Brien.
I came into this expecting to write pretty much all negative things about the Rockies, but oh hey they just swept the Dodgers. This means the Dodgers still have not clinched a playoff berth, so good job Colorado. Nolan Arenado continues to have one of the best season in the NL, now tied for the league lead in homers (41) and leads the league in RBIs (126). He's a lot like Paul Goldschmidt in a sense, having an outstanding season but getting little recognition because of the team he plays for. There are plenty of names which you recognize I shouldn't need to tell you about, such as Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez, so let's take a look at some more unfamiliar names:
- Tom Murphy- has done some catching for Colorado after Nick Hundley went to the 60-day DL. Batting .292 with 3 homers in 25 PA's this month, so look for his name this series. Also, this is the first image that appears when you search for him on google: Looking sharp, Tom.
- Cristhian Adames- That's a fun name to spell. The middle infielder has 52 plate appearances in September, and a .277 batting average. He's done pretty well in September and is just 24, so maybe this is a guy we see on a regular basis in the future. It will be tough for him to find much playing time though, with Lemahieu at second and Reyes at short. He has no fun pictures on google images :-(
- Rafael Ynoa- He's bounced around between AAA and the Rockies all year. Has been very unimpressive, with a triple slash of .237/.256/.298. We should see him a few times this series.
- The outfield trio of Inciarte, Pollock, and Peralta continue to rake. Pollock has an OPS of 1.038 in the last 2 weeks, Peralta is at .829, and Inciarte just had 2 homers on Sunday. Not too shabby.
- Paul Goldschmidt:
- It seems Jake Lamb and Chris Owings would like to have their spots taken by Brandon Drury next year. Over the last two weeks, both are batting under .200 and slugging under .225. Yikes.
- In his last 9 games, Justin Morneau has a batting average almost at .500 and an OPS of 1.283. It would be wise to pitch around him.
Nick Ahmed has been out almost a week with lower back soreness, but could return for this series. His status is unknown as of when I am writing this Sunday night.
Jose Reyes has been out with pain in his achilles, and I'd be surprised if he plays again this year. No reason for the Rockies to risk hurting him. They also have a plethora of guys out for the season, and you can see a list of those players here.
Game 1: Robbie Ray LHP (5-12, 3.53 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) vs Christian Bergman RHP (3-1, 4.62 ERA, 1.39 WHIP)*
Here's what's going to happen on Tuesday with Robbie: he'll pitch pretty well, 5-6 innings and 2-3 runs. It will take him approximately 7,200 pitches to get through this though, so we will see another good looking Ray start end due to his high pitch counts.
52.2 of the 60.1 innings Bergman has pitched have been as a reliever, so his numbers can be taken with a grain of salt. In the two starts he's made, he has an ERA of 8.22 which I have been told is not very good. He doesn't throw hard, with an average fastball velocity at 90, instead opting to try confusing the batter with a variety of pitches. These pitches include a 4-seamer, 2-seamer, slider, curve, and change-up. Big advantage D-Backs.
Game 2: Chase Anderson RHP (6-6, 4.40 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) vs Chad Bettis RHP (8-5, 4.38 ERA, 1.40 WHIP)
Chase's last start was dominant, where the only hit he allowed was a solo homer. The start only lasted 6 innings though because of, stop me if you've heard this before, a high pitch count. He struck out 10 in the game. Anderson has been very unimpressive at home this year, with a 4.80 ERA at Chase Field. Due to his inconsistency this season, I have no clue what to expect from him.
Chad Bettis is a very okay pitcher who would struggle to get a rotation spot on the majority of teams in the majors. He has pitched well lately, with a 1.50 ERA in his last 3 outings. He's pretty boring, I can't find any stats that really stand out about him. He is a ham and cheese sandwich. It's boring, but hey you could do a lot worse. Now I'm hungry. Can't really give an advantage to either team here.
Game 3: Patrick Corbin LHP (6-5, 3.28 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) vs David Hale RHP (5-5, 6.01 ERA, 1.46 WHIP)
Watching Corbin pitch has me very excited for next year. Sure, he's had a couple of bad starts, like last week where he gave up 4 runs in 4.1 innings. But for the most part, he has looked sharp. From September 1 to the 19th, Patrick went on a 25.1 inning streak without walking a batter. In those 4 starts, he allowed just 4 total runs. I'm expecting another good one from Corbin, in what will be his last start of the season.
Yikes. That is all I will say about Mr. Hale. Advantage D-Backs.
It is tough to say who the X-Factors are in a series late in September between two teams not in playoff contention, because you have no idea who is playing. I guess that makes the X-Factors the managers and front office. These are the guys deciding who they want to see play in preparation for next year.
Hmmmm. I'm going with a sweep for Arizona. The Rockies are not a good team, and I would also love to see this team finish at a .500 record.