After playing 13 of their first 16 games on the road (is it any wonder the performance has been uneven?), the Rockies finally get to return home to Coors Field. Perhaps wearing white will result in a a slight bend in the projected path to a more colorful and desirable result.
After getting swept last weekend by the NL West leading Dodgers, there is plenty on the line at 20th and Blake this weekend. LA still has the best run differential in the majors, but there are still reasons for optimism.
Los Angeles Dodgers (11-5, W1, 1st in NL West)
Friday-Sunday : 3-game series at Colroado
Los Angeles has been unbeatable at home (6-0) but are mere mortals on the road (5-5). Houston used that chink in the armor to take the first two games from LA Tuesday and Wednesday before Chad Billingsley staved off a sweep with a 2-0 win yesterday.
The Rockies trot out their top three starters in their rotation, all of them out for redemption after poor showings in LA, while the Dodgers respond with their 3-4-5 rotation spots (or more accurately, 4-5-6).
After getting swept last weekend, there's plenty of motivation to return the favor.
Tonight, 7:10pm MDT
The battle of the unexpecteds:
|2009 - Eric Stults||2-0||2.61||1.35||7||5|
|2009 - Aaron Cook||0-1||10.22||2.11||6||4|
Strangely, Eric Stults is the only Dodger pitcher of the series to have a win, and he wasn't in the Opening Day rotation. He has filled in for Opening Day starter Hiroki Kuroda, who is on the DL. Stults has not allowed many runs in his two starts, but his peripheral stats aren't quite as impressive. His pitch economy has been suspect, which could be an issue when facing the most patient team in the league. Stults has more appearances vs the Rockies than any other team in MLB, and he has allowed just 6 runs in 15 innings. Ian Stewart has the most success against him, going 2-for-2.
Aaron Cook is still trying to get right. He has not had any ace-worthy starts, but his best one by far was April 12 at Coors Field against a talented offensive team. Manny Corpas blew the chance for Cookie to move to 1-0 in that game. Orlando Hudson (.400), Andre Ethier (.412, 2 HR) and Mark Loretta (.462) have had significant success against Cook.
Saturday, April 25, 6:10pm MDT
|2009 - James McDonald||0-1||5.87||1.70||4||6|
|2009 - Ubaldo Jimenez||1-2||6.00||1.87||16||13|
James McDonald and Ubaldo Jimenez squared off on a recent forgettable Sunday. McDonald did not give up a run in the game but struggled with pitch economy as Stults has. This will be McDonald's first career appearance at Coors Field.
Ubaldo Jimenez opened the season spectacularly on April 7, but his last two starts have featured excessive wildness. Reports are that it was due to a "mechancial glitch," which he believes he has fixed. If Ubaldo does return to form, the Rockies have the obvious advantage in this pitching matchup. Hmm...deja vu.
Sunday, April 26, 1:10pm MDT
The battle of the rebounds:
|2009 - Clayton Kershaw||0-1||4.41||1.10||22||7|
|2009 - Jason Marquis||2-1||4.26||1.37||8||7|
Clayton Kershaw was dominant in his first two starts before melting down Tuesday at Houston. He will try to rebound at Coors Field against the team he has struggled against more than any other team in his career.
Jason Marquis was dominant in his first two starts before melting down Monday at Arizona. He will try to rebound against the team he has dominated more than any other team in his career. Marquis is 3-1 with a 1.99 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and .202 batting average against in his career against the Dodgers in eight starts.
Manny Ramirez (.458/.500/.958 in last 7) started heating up the last time he saw the Rockies, and all of his four home runs have come in the last week. Andre Ethier (.348/.407/.870), Orlando Hudson (.417/.500/.500), and Matt Kemp (.348/.423/.783) have all had a great week as well.
James Loney (.167/.200.208) has been one of the few cold Dodgers over the last six games. Rafael Furcal (..273/.360/.318) is still scuffling a bit. Clayton Kershaw had a poor start his last time on the bump.
No notable injuries have surfaced since Monday.