Rockies vs. Marlins preview: The unevenest of pitching matchups

Jim McIsaac

Jeff Manship has his hands full tonight against Jose Fernandez on the Marlins. And yet, I'm sure he's completely okay with it.

Jeff Manship isn't a stranger to the big leagues.

Manship entered the 2013 season with 85 2/3 innings under his belt at the highest level, earning those totals during a four-year stretch with the Minnesota Twins. However, Manship is a stranger to MLB success.

The 28-year-old right-hander out of Notre Dame has allowed 11.2 hits per nine innings across 44 career appearances. His best quality is just that -- serving up pitches in the strike zone. Manship strikes out less than six batters per nine but over the course of his career, doesn't walk a ton of hitters either.

This year, his walks are up and his strikeouts are down, and he doesn't have good groundball numbers to back it up. Essentially, he's just allowing opposing players to hit the bejesus out of the ball. He gives up line drives and home runs at a much higher clip than league average, yet he's hanging around.

It's not the worst thing in the world; when you get to the dog days of August, you see guys like Manship all over the league as the long season begins to take its toll on hurlers everywhere. But, it is the worst thing in the world for the Rockies on Aug. 25, 2013, when they take on Miami Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez, who is mostly unhittable against everyone, but definitely classified as such in his only start against the Rockies.

Fernandez allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings in his start at Coors Field on July 23. He surrendered a home run to a future Hall-of-Famer, but was otherwise in complete control in an imposing environment, suggesting the 21-year-old Cuban has onions of steel. He'll face Colorado, which doesn't have Carlos Gonzalez this time around, in a much more comfortable environment and will probably have a decent amount of run support.

But then again, this is baseball, and I'm sure that like Fernandez, Manship lives it, breathes it, and probably knows that anything can happen in it. That's why we love him. And it.

Lineups

Rockies

1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
2. Corey Dickerson (L) LF
3. Troy Tulowitzki (R) SS
4. Michael Cuddyer (R) RF
5. Todd Helton (L) 1B
6. Wilin Rosario (R) C
7. Nolan Arenado (R) 3B
8. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
9. Jeff Manship (R) P

Marlins

1. Christian Yelich (L) LF
2. Donovan Solano (R) 2B
3. Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
4. Logan Morrison (L) 1B
5. Ed Lucas (R) 3B
6. Adeiny Hechavarria (R) SS
7. Jake Marisnick (R) CF
8. Jeff Mathis (R) C
9. Jose Fernandez (R) P

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