At one point in the season, this looked like it might be a series between two Wild Card contenders. Now, the Rockies are in last place in the division, and Arizona is 4.5 games back in the Wild Card and losing time.
Game 1: Chi Chi Gonzales(0-4, 6.57 ERA, 1.78 WHIP) vs. Zac Gallen (2-3, 2.58 ERA, 1.25 WHIP)
Gonzalez is minor league filler for the Rockies, and not doing a great job about it either. ERA is always a bit misleading at Coors, but his 83 ERA+ backs up that 6.57 ERA. Last time out, he started against the Padres in San Diego and got rocked to the tune of five runs and eight hits in just five innings.
Gallen’s last start was also against Colorado, and while he ended up with a decent result, it took a lot of work to get there. He only last four innings, and allowed nine hits and a walk. However, he was able to work around most of it and only give up two runs. That was in Coors, though, so maybe facing them in the more pitcher friendly park of Chase (still weird to say) will help him out a bit.
Game 2: Kyle Freeland (3-10, 7.09 ERA, 1.60 WHIP) vs. Alex Young (4-3, 3.98 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)
Freeland has been struggling all season long, including getting demoted to the minors for the month of June. He hasn’t really been doing much better since he came back, having only three games where he gave up three runs or less. Last time out, he faced the Diamondbacks and gave up five runs.
Alex Young has had a couple of disappointing starts in a row now after his great start to his career. He gave up four runs to the Dodgers on the tenth, only lasting 3.1 innings in the process, and then he gave up five runs in five innings last time out to the Giants. It will be interesting to see how the young starter adjusts now that the big leagues might be figuring him out.
Game 3: Jon Gray (11-8, 3.84 ERA, 1.35 WHIP) vs Mike Leake (9-9, 4.64 ERA, 1.33 WHIP)
Jon Gray is going to be Jon Gray. You’re going to strike out a lot, but if you wait for your pitches, you can still tag him for some runs, see Wild Card, 2017. He’s always a tough opponent, inside and out of Coors, though, so this is going to be a hard one to win.
And it doesn’t help that Mike Leake has struggled since The Trade. Another rough start for him his last time out. He gave up four runs on eight hits in six innings against the Giants. To be fair, that was an improvement over his start before that against the Dodgers where he gave up eight runs in just five innings. Hopefully he starts to put it back together soon, otherwise, next year could be a very long season.
The Diamondbacks have a chance this series. They get to face a couple of starters that are struggling right now. Plus, the Rockies took a pretty big hit to the bullpen when it was announced yesterday that Scott Olberg was going to miss the rest of the season with a blood clot in his arm. I say that they win this series, avoid going more than two games away from .500, and the mediocrity will continue.