Some moments in the season serve as a fitting illustration of the overriding storyline of the season. This weekend has once again provided that.
Arizona had only won 28 games at home this season, more than only the Indians, Orioles and Pirates. AZSnakePit had been carrying "Tankapalooza Watch" and the Snakes had been swept in two of their last four home series. Yet the Rockies' road woes have overridden all of that, perhaps in part due an injury (what else?) to a former Diamondback signee.
The Rockies will have to rely on a 22-year-old rookie to avoid a road sweep against the 3rd worst team in the major leagues. Despite their road woes, the Rockies have yet to be swept on the road in a three game series in 2010 (they failed to win one game in a two game series in Chicago and a four-game series in Philadelphia). It will take a win today to prevent falling to one game over .500 for the first time since July 28, the end of the 8-game losing streak.
Despite having all the confidence in Jhoulys Chacin, it won't be easy in facing former White Sox top prospect Daniel Hudson. Despite having lost his last start, he still has still posted a quality start and gone seven innings in all four starts in sedona red, something neither Dan Haren or Edwin Jackson could do for Arizona.
I'm very interested to see how Hudson's career develops in Arizona. In the majors, he has posted a ground ball rate that would place him 3rd from the bottom in MLB this season, and only on one stop above A-ball did he manage a GB rate over 40%. Pitchers that allow that many balls in the air don't typically have a 94% success rate with RISP, as Hudson has with Arizona this season. So say it with me now....regression.
Despite Chase Field being a very friendly home park, the GB rate isn't quite a death sentence. Teammate Ian Kennedy has had success with a 36.4% GB rate this year, while several pitchers can dominate without ground balls. But it is something to watch out for with that home park.
08/22/10 1:10 PM MDT
|Colorado Rockies||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Eric Young Jr. - 2B||Stephen Drew - SS|
|Dexter Fowler - CF||Justin Upton - RF|
|Carlos Gonzalez - RF||Kelly Johnson - 2B|
|Troy Tulowitzki - SS||Chris Young - CF|
|Jason Giambi - 1B||Adam LaRoche - 1B|
|Seth Smith - LF||Mark Reynolds - 3B|
|Ian Stewart - 3B||Gerardo Parra - LF|
|Miguel Olivo - C||John Hester - C|
|Jhoulys Chacin - P||Dan Hudson - P|
#45 / Pitcher / Colorado Rockies
Jan 07, 1988
|2010 - Jhoulys Chacin||5-9||20||13||0||0||0||0||87.1||75||47||42||8||43||93||4.33||1.35|
#41 / Pitcher / Arizona Diamondbacks
Mar 09, 1987
|2010 - Dan Hudson||3-1||4||4||0||0||0||0||29.2||22||7||7||4||4||27||2.12||.88|