The start of the series against the Red Sox in June began what looks likely to be the most difficult 30 game stretch (in terms of strength of opposition) that the Rockies will face this season. The first half of that stretch has been played without star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki or tonight's starter, the man who's likely the team's second best starting pitcher, Jorge De La Rosa. Still, despite these handicaps, plus others, including a continued slump from Todd Helton and a rib injury to Brad Hawpe, the Rockies have managed an 11-5 record thus far.
Despite the success to date, this series with the Padres going into the All-Star break continues to loom very large, however as San Diego's lead has been reduced by just one game thus far. With a potential backbreaking 11 game road trip on the other side of the break, it's pretty crucial for the rest of their season that the Rockies win this series, to give themselves a little leeway in case they stumble in that Eastern road trip starting next week.
Welcome back, JDLR, do us proud by starting this series off right.
I'm going to miss the first two games of this series while camping, so the wrap tonight will have to be covered by somebody else. I should be back in time to post Sunday's Rockpile (it will likely be a bit late) at which point I hope to see the team within one game of the division lead.