Arizona Diamondbacks (15-18) @ Colorado Rockies (15-16)
I don't even know what to say about the Diamondbacks now. They go out, and get swept by the Rockies and Marlins back to back. Then they suddenly head to Atlanta and look like a completely different team, getting a sweep of their own. Sure, quality of competition definitely played into this... but how can a team look so dramatically different in such a short time span? I suppose that's baseball...
State of the Rockies
Coming into the season, I'm sure nobody saw the Rockies a game out of first place in early May. Yeah, being near the top of the NL West this season is not the most impressive feat. I highly doubt the Rockies care. They are doing what it seems they do every year: good offense, bad pitching. They are third in the majors in runs per game, coming in at 5.33, but 28th in opponent runs per game, at 5.37. Their near-0 run differential is exactly what you would expect from a .500-level team. Leading the offense is, surprise surprise, Nolan Arenado, flying under the radar with a league leading 12 homers. At shortstop, D-Backs killer Trevor Story has 11 homers, but has also struck out in a third of his at-bats. I'm sure teammate Mark Reynolds approves of this. Carlos Gonzalez and Reynolds are the only other starters with an OPS+ over 100, while Charlie Blackmon has been disappointing. He is currently on a 5 game hitting streak though, so maybe he's starting to come around a bit.
- Stay hot, Brandon Drury. He's got an OPS of 1.103 in his last 13 games.
- Jean Segura still isn't slowing down, batting .389 in his last 5 games.
- Feels like I've said it every week, and I'll say it again this week: Goldy just cannot find his groove. He is batting .220 on the year, and just went 1-for-10 with 5 K's in this last series against the Braves.
- The Rockies bullpen has been impressive as of late, with a 1.74 ERA in their last 20.2 innings.
The Rockies will be without starter Jorge de la Rosa, who has been on the DL since late April with a groin strain. Ouch. Catcher Nick Hundley just went onto the DL over the weekend, so the Rockies are stuck with Tony Wolters at catcher, who has a OPS+ of 28.
Yasmany Tomas didn't start at all over the weekend with "neck stiffness". He's listed as day-to-day. Josh Collmenter's return may have been pushed back a bit after a short outing on Saturday in Visalia. He gave up 7 runs in 0.2 innings, and only threw 33 pitches.
Game 1: Archie Bradley RHP (0-0, 10.38 ERA, 2.54 WHIP) vs Tyler Chatwood RHP (4-2, 2.15 ERA, 1.12 WHIP)
This start feels like a must-have for Archie. He was unimpressive in his last handful of starts last year, and then was lit up in his first and only start this year. With the likes of Tyler Wagner and Zack Godley waiting around in the minors, Bradley needs to step it up if he wants to get more opportunities as the season goes on.
After not pitching much in 2014 and not at all in 2015, Chatwood has been ace-like during the first part of 2016. 3 of his 6 starts have been scoreless, although none of those scoreless starts came in Coors Field. At home, he has a 7.20 ERA in 2 starts this season. Advantage Colorado.
Game 2: Rubby de la Rosa RHP (3-4, 4.60 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) vs Chris Rusin LHP (1-0, 4.43 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
Me last week: Wow, Rubby has been looking good lately! Maybe he's finally turning into a more consistent pitcher- he allows 4 runs in 5.2 innings- well I better pull out the ol Wheel O' Rubby again.
Rusin has been used both as a long reliever and starter, with 4 relief appearances and 2 starts this year. The first start came last weekend against the D-Backs, where he gave up just one hit in 5 innings. The second, however, was a completely different story. He was torched by San Francisco, allowing 7 runs and 13 hits in 4.1 innings. Neither team has much of an advantage in this one.
Game 3: Robbie Ray LHP (1-2, 4.70 ERA, 1.63 WHIP) vs Chad Bettis RHP (3-2, 4.40 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
Ray pitched fairly well in his last outing, going 5.1 innings and allowing 2 runs, but had to be removed due to his high pitch count. Sound familiar at all? The last time he went to Coors Field, April 29, he allowed 4 homers and gave up 5 runs. I'm gonna go out on a limb and see he doesn't allow 4 homers again on Wednesday. Beyond that though, I am unable to predict what he'll do.
Bettis has been more of an innings eater than anything else, with at least 6 innings pitched in 6 of his 7 starts. He's had a good variety of runs allowed in each start, so I have no idea what to expect. He has been unimpressive against Arizona this year, with a 6.35 ERA in 11.1 innings.
Key to the Series
- Starting Pitching: it has been a huge problem for both teams both season. They are 2nd and 3rd worst in terms of starters' ERA out of all 30 teams. This series will come down to which rotation can be less bad.
The Rockies continue their stellar performance against the D-Backs, winning 2 of 3.