Crumbling Rockies continue east coast trip in Atlanta

I'm going to try a new tactic here. The Rockies cannot win this series. There's no reason to believe they can. Colorado has won 2 series in 13 tries this season, and to pull out number 3 vs Atlanta on the road, they would have to win at least 3 of 4. That streak has only happened twice this year, with the help of the hapless D-Backs and Padres. And Coors Field.

Am I honestly scared of a .500 team? Oi vay. 


Atlanta Braves (18-18, L1, 3rd, 2.5 GB)

Monday-Thursday : 4-game series at Turner Field

Unlike the Rockies, whose commonly fell into a win-one-lose-one scenario this season, the Braves have been streakier than an '05 Hawpe. Atlanta has won 5 of 6 three times on the season but also owns two 4-game losing streaks. As they are now, they have won 7 of their past 10 to reach .500. The Rockies have won 7 games each at home and the road, so maybe visiting Turner Field isn't so bad, especially considering Atlanta is 3 games better on the road than at home.

The Braves won the season series 4-3 last year after Colorado won the first three in early April. The Rox have lost their last 5 games at Turner Field.

The Braves are ranked 20th in wOBA, 24th in runs, 7th in starter ERA, and 16th in reliever ERA.  Their 6 blown saves is 11th highest.

Kelly Johnson .234 3 11
Yunel Escobar .303 3 18
Chipper Jones .314 4 14
Garrett Anderson .238 0 8
Brian McCann .275 3 12
Casey Kotchman .296 2 15
Jeff Francoeur .252 3 19
Jordan Schafer .220 2 4

Omar Infante will also likely get time in place of Kelly Johnson at some point.

Probable Pitchers:

Tonight, 5:00 MDT

2009 - Jason Marquis 4-3 5.40 1.40 20 15

Bad Marquis has made his appearance.  Touted by some as a possible alll-star amongst the purple paupers, his ERA and WHIP no longer induce intense pride.  Unfortunately, it's not much of an aberration.  He was unlucky with several BABIP singles in his last start, but his season BABIP is now at career levels, and while his ERA is unfairly high, his 4.78 FIP is still high enough as is. 

2009 - Derek Lowe 5-1 3.80 1.33 34 19

Derek Lowe has won four consecutive starts, despite being outpitched by Jorge de la Rosa in that span and raising his ERA by over a half run.  Lowe is walking hitters at a career high rate, but his HR allowed is near the bottom.  The Rockies, 3rd in the NL in HR, might be able to change that.  Interestingly, Lowe's fastball has lost 1mph from last year and is at its slowest since 2003 - he appears to be throwing his slider more often in response.

Tuesday, May 19, 5:00 MDT

2009 - Jason Hammel 0-2 4.62 1.70 16 8

Hammel is allowing an disappointing but not unprecedented .359 BABIP against.  Unfortunately, that's well withing career averages when throwing out 2008.  Hammel got shafted with the loss Thursday, thanks to Garret Errorkins, in spite of allowing just one earned run.  His defense IS mistreating him, but he also has a 5+ FIP.  Consider this another audition to stick with the rotation, and dream of Frisco.

2009 - Jair Jurrjens 3-2 2.06 1.17 24 17

Jair Jurrjens is pitching very well in his second full season.  The Dutch righty has won just one of his last six starts but has allowed just 8 runs in those 6 starts.    Note however, that his low BABIP (.244) and very high LOB% (85%) point to a rising ERA.  In fact, his ERA is lower than FIP by the 2nd largest margin in the NL.  He is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA against the Rockies in his career.


Wednesday, May 13, 5:00 MDT

2009 - Jorge De La Rosa 0-3 3.16 1.17 45 16

Life is unfair, starring Jorge de la Rosa.  DLR ranked #2 in May strikeouts thanks to 22 in his past two starts and has allowed 3 runs or less in all 6 starts since his 2009 debut.  Even his ERA has been higher than his FIP this year, which is below three.  Yet no wins.  It will come on this day.  It will! 

2009 - Javier Vazquez 3-3 3.71 1.13 67 13

While Lowe has been a celebrated addition to the rotation, Javier Vazquez has been even more valuable.  The former White Sock is not only 2nd in the NL in K's, but he is 3rd in K/BB, behind just Dan Haren and Johan Santana.  Good company.  On top off that, his FIP is lower than 3 as well, a top ten ERA/FIP margin in the league.  Vazquez is well on his way to his 3rd consecutive 200-K season.  It's a tough draw for DLR.


Thursday, May 14, 5:00 MDT  

2009 - Aaron Cook 2-1 5.71 1.63 21 20


Aaron Cook lasted just 1.2 IP in his last start Saturday...thanks to rain, but he may not have lasted long anyway.  Cook is suffering from a stiff back, which will be monitored.  This will be the storyline of Cook's start, as losing Cook as an innings eater at least would be a huge loss.  His last start broke a string of four consecutive quality starts and two consecutive starts allowing just one earned run. 

**AAA Stats*** W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2009 - Kris Medlen 5-0 1.19 0.80 44 10


Kris Medlen is slated to make his major league debut Thursday against the Rockies, pushing Jo-Jo Reyes to the bullpen.  Medlen was drafted in the 10th round in 2006 and has rocketed as a dark horse through the minors.  This year, he has dominated AAA in eight appearances.  Scouting reports here and here and here.  The Braves have an absolute find after converting the shortstop to a pitcher with three plus pitches and exceptional control.




 Chipper Jones (.412/.522/.750 in last 7), as usual, is performing well of late.  Garrett Anderson (.400/.375/.450), Brian McCann (.333/.391/.429) and Omar Infante (.357/.357/.429) are also heating up a bit.



 Jeff Francoeur (.087/.120/.087 in last 7) seems to always be struggling these days, and rookie Jordan Schafer (.158/.304/.158 ) and Kelly Johnson (.250/.318/.300) also have been doing Garrett Atkins-impressions of late.


Bandaid_mediumPitchers Tom Glavine and Jorge Campillo are on the 15-day disabled list, and Tim Hudson (elbow) is on the 60 day DL


The NL West Report will be updated later in the day.


NL West Report

Arizona (14-23, 5th, W1, 11 GB)

Last Week: 0-3 vs Reds, 1-1 @ Braves.  Sunday's game against the Braves was postponed due to weather.

This Week: 4 game series @ Marlins, 3 game series @ Athletics


Arizona Diamondbacks Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Tom Gordon hamstring 05/04/2009
Yusmeiro Petit shoulder 05/09/2009
Conor Jackson other-illness 05/12/2009
Tony Clark other-excused 05/06/2009
Brandon Webb shoulder 04/07/2009


Los Angeles (26-13, 1st, W1)

Last Week: 2-1 @ Phillies, 2-1 @ Marlins

This Week: 3 game series vs Mets, 3 game series vs Angels


Los Angeles Dodgers Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Eric Stults thumb 05/17/2009


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Hong-Chih Kuo elbow 04/30/2009
Jason Schmidt shoulder 03/30/2009
Hiroki Kuroda oblique 04/07/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Doug Mientkiewicz shoulder 04/17/2009
Claudio Vargas elbow 04/05/2009




San Diego (16-22, 3rd, W3, 9.5 GB)

Last Week: 0-3 @ Cubs, 3-0 vs Reds

This Week: 3 game series vs Giants, 3 game series vs Cubs


San Diego Padres Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Shawn Hill elbow 04/26/2009
Luis Rodriguez ankle 05/14/2009
Cliff Floyd shoulder 04/05/2009
Walter Silva forearm 04/14/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Cha Seung Baek forearm 03/30/2009
Mark Worrell elbow 03/27/2009
Mike Adams shoulder 03/27/2009
Everth Cabrera hand 04/20/2009






San Francisco (19-18, 2nd, W1, 6 GB)

Last Week: 2-1 vs Nationals, 1-3 vs Mets

This Week: 3 game series @ Padres, 3 game series @ Mariners


San Francisco Giants Injuries


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Noah Lowry shoulder 03/27/2009
Andres Torres hamstring 04/28/2009
Sergio Romo elbow 03/27/2009
Joe Martinez concussion 04/10/2009

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Juan Uribe other-excused 05/17/2009
Edgar Renteria hamstring 05/17/2009
Nate Schierholtz ribs 05/17/2009


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