DENVER -- In his most recent start, fresh off a demotion to AAA, Juan Nicasio pitched his best game of 2013, hurling seven innings of three hit shutout ball against the Dodgers and outdueling Clayton Kershaw in the process. This time out, Nicasio will try to replicate his success at Coors Field, this time against a Cubs squad who is in the middle of the pack offensively.
If Nicasio's improved form holds, he could go a long way toward solidifying Colorado's pitching. This is a key time for Nicasio, who will be trying to prove to Rockies brass that he will be the answer both down the stretch this year and in next season's rotation.
He'll face Carlos Villanueva, a 29 year-old journeyman who signed a 2 year, $10 million contract with the Cubs before the year and has delivered very solid results. The righthander, despite a 2-5 record, has a very strong 3.59 ERA and 1.15 WHIP with a 3.76 FIP and 111 ERA+ to round out a very solid profile overall.
Still, this is a very winnable game for Colorado, who is on a critical 10 game homestand that will help determine whether the club will be looking to add pieces at the trade deadline.
It's a beautiful day at Coors Field today - I have the opportunity today to be reporting directly from the Coors Field press box!
Time: 06:10 MT