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Game Preview: Matzek, part deux

Tyler Matzek was extraordinary in his Rockies debut. What will the famously erratic rookie do in his encore?

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Following Tyler Matzek's minor league career was a bewildering past time. The super talented lefty would tantalize with an exceptional start or two in a row, and you would think he finally turned a corner...until you looked at a box score one day and see something like three IP, seven BB, six K, five runs on two hits. And you would think, "gee, if freaking Double-A hitters are doing that to him, imagine what the big boys would do." It was enough to make you wonder if he would ever turn that corner.

Well, five hard years in the minors have toughened Matzek up, and the 23 year old saw it all come together in a wonderful seven inning, two run start against the Braves five days ago. Most impressively, he walked zero batters. As we all know, though, the Matzek experience is to expect the unexpected. Will he build on last week's successful start? Will wild Matzek show up? Either way, tonight will be a fascinating ball game.

This will be his first road start in the bigs, in beautiful Los Angeles, my soon-to-be-erstwhile home town. Hyun-Jin Ryu, the always-solid Korean left hander will oppose him. Ryu is clipping along at his usual numbers, posting a 3.33 ERA and 2.90 FIP thus far. The Rockies have seen him twice this year; once in LA, when they hung six runs on him (thanks to a Josh Rutledge three run homer), and once in Colorado when the Rockies accrued 10 base runners but only two runs.

As expected, the Rockies will load up a righty-heavy lineup, with the exceptions of Charlie Blackmon (who hits lefties fine) and Justin Morneau, who doesn't really have a replacement. Newly promoted prospect Kyle Parker should be in the building tonight, but after a hectic travel day he is not getting the start. I'd imagine Weiss will try to get him a pinch hit at bat.

Tulo's toe is apparently okay. Rutledge is spelling DJ LeMahieu at second base, and Charlie Culberson is again at third (sighhhhhh). This will be Wilin Rosario's first crack at catching Matzek; hopefully he's a solid backstop for the rookie. Can't start McKenry every day.

This improbable road trip has brought the Rockies from the brink of doom back into relevance. The Giants might not be catchable, but the Wild Card is still in play. The Dodgers are currently two games up on the Rockies, so it feels pretty important to win at least one of the next three games. With Greinke and Kershaw up next in the rotation, tonight is the Rockies' best chance. Keep the winning ways alive!

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<h3>Today's Lineups</h3>
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<th align="left">COLORADO ROCKIES</th>
<th align="left">LOS ANGELES DODGERS</th>
<tr><td class="td-last td-name">C. Blackmon - LF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Dee Gordon - 2B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Brandon Barnes - RF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Hanley Ramirez - SS</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Troy Tulowitzki - SS</td><td class="td-first td-name">Yasiel Puig - RF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Justin Morneau - 1B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Matt Kemp - LF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Drew Stubbs - CF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Scott Van Slyke - 1B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Wilin Rosario - C</td><td class="td-first td-name">Andre Ethier - CF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Josh Rutledge - 2B</td><td class="td-first td-name">A.J. Ellis - C</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">C. Culberson - 3B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Miguel Rojas - 3B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Tyler Matzek - LHP</td><td class="td-first td-name">Hyun-Jin Ryu - LHP</td></tr></tbody>
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