Wednesday saw the Diamondbacks wrap up a winning series against the Royals. It wasn’t the prettiest series ever, but they did add two more under the wins column and ultimately that’s what counts. A big part of that was Zac Gallen continuing his revenge tour against everyone who didn’t vote for him to win the Cy Young, as he racked up another 6.1 scoreless innings bringing his current streak to 28. The biggest concern was the teams struggles to hit against a weaker pitching staff, but hopefully they will correct that this series.
The Rockies are having a bad go of it. As much as we all, myself included, love to complain about Ken Kendrick, the Rockies are living proof that it could be much worse. They are a team without direction, and they seem perfectly content to stay that way. Currently they are 8-18, already six games behind the first place Diamondbacks.
Game 1 — 4/28, 5:10PM: Merrill Kelly (1-3, 3.42 ERA/126 ERA+, 1.33 WHIP) vs. Kyle Freeland (2-2, 4.28 ERA/116 ERA+ , 1.21 WHIP)
Kelly got tagged for the loss again last time out. Giving up four runs in five innings, with five walks, tends to do that. Walks have been killing him all season. Through five games, he has already given 17 free passes. For comparison, he had five starts in 2020 and only gave up five. Four of his five starts this season have seen him give up a minimum of four walks. It’s hard to win when you’re putting yourself in that deep of a hole
Freeland started the season off strong, giving up just two earned runs in his first three starts. The wheels have been starting to come off the past two starts, though, with nine runs (seven earned) and four runs in them respectively. What really hurt him last start was three home runs. What made that pain sting is that the game was in Philly, not Coors.
Game 2 — 4/29, 5:10PM: Tommy Henry (0-0, 6.23 ERA/74 ERA+, 1.85 WHIP) vs. Noah Davis (0-0, 0.93 ERA/546 ERA+ , 1.24 WHIP)
Henry made his first start of the season in the first game of the Kansas City series. He went 4.1 innings, scattering three runs across them. He immediately fit right in with most of the rotation and gave up four walks during his short outing. His next start being in Coors isn’t ideal for a pitcher who gave up ten home runs in just 47 innings last season.
Nelson has come out of the gate strong for the Rockies. He was called up to face the Mariners and held them scoreless over five, then followed it up by holding the Phillies to just one over 4.2 innings. He has yet to give up a home run, however, he has also yet to start in Coors Field, so we’ll see how sustainable that is.
Game 3 — 4/30, 12:10PM: Ryne Nelson (1-1, 5.33 ERA/81 ERA+, 1.37 WHIP) vs. Austin Gomber (1-4, 9.28 ERA/54 ERA+, 1.92 WHIP)
Been kind of a mixed bag for Nelson so far. He’s had a good start, couple of okay starts, but his last couple have been trending poorly. He gave up five runs to the Padres on April 20th and succumbed to the walk epidemic that is sweeping the club house by giving up three in five innings. His next start against the Royals, he didn’t allow a walk, but 11 hits in five innings isn’t going to do you any favors either
Look, I don’t want to disrespect our opponent, but Gomber has just not been good this season. He’s giving up over two home runs every nine innings, he’s walking people at a rate that makes Merrill Kelly proud, and he leads the league in earned runs allowed. I will say that he had a good outing against Cleveland last time out, going five scoreless innings, but that just speaks to how rough the first four starts of his season were.
This should be a series where the Diamondbacks can pad the win column, easily getting two or even three wins. They were just barely able to get the job done against the Royals, who are in a similar situation as the Rockies, and they need to do better in this series if they don’t want to be viewed as pretenders. It’s also a great chance to potentially put a few more games of separation between them and the Dodgers, depending on how LA handles the Cardinals. In all, they should win the series 2-1. It’s always hard to predict a sweep in Coors. Just don’t expect any low scoring games