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Game No. 71 Preview: Jhoulys Chacin vs. Zack Greinke

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If the Rockies don't want to get swept, winning this game is a good idea.

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

This is an important game for the Rockies for a couple of reasons.

For starters, the absolute last thing this team wants to do after sweeping a series in San Francisco is go to LA and get swept. It would take away much of the momentum and good feeling they gained over the weekend.

With Clayton Kershaw on the mound for the Dodgers tomorrow, the best chance for Colorado to salvage one of these games is probably tonight, even though scoring runs off Zack Greinke is tall task in itself.

Along these same lines, the Rockies don't want to be responsible for kick starting an LA team that seems destined to take off sooner or later despite hanging only a few games over .500. Losing two out of three would not be ideal, but it keeps the situation contained, especially when drawing Ryu, Greinke, and Kershaw in a series.

The other major reason why this is an important game is because it could bring us to a tipping point with Jhoulys Chacin. A good tipping point. The machine has been very solid his last two outings (the first of which was actually also against Greinke and the Dodgers a week and a half ago at Coors Field) and he may be in the process of turning his season around. A good general rule to follow for starting pitchers is "one is an anomaly, two is a coincidence, three is a trend, four is a pattern." If we get another strong outing from Chacin tonight, we're up to a trend, and getting pretty darn close to the point where we can be confident in our chances of winning whenever he takes the mound.

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A few other things to note tonight.

1) Charlie Culberson is not in the starting lineup. Ryan Wheeler will instead get the start at third base. (Hurry back Nolan)

2) Walt Weiss has inserted all of the lefties he has at his disposal and inserted them into the lineup. This means starts for Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson (after two straight days off), Justin Morneau, and the aforementioned Ryan Wheeler.

3) The Rockies will be without Nick Masset in the bullpen tonight as he begins serving his suspension for plunking Evan Gattis last week. It's unlikely he would have been available anyway though as he's pitched in each of the last two games, including a 24 bullet outing last night.

3) The Dodger lineup is as dangerous as it's been all season with only Miguel Rojas being an easy out. The catcher position has been a black hole offensively for the Dodgers, but now that A.J. Ellis is healthy, the entire order becomes much deeper. Add in Matt Kemp getting red hot out of nowhere lately and this lineup is as good as it's been all season - And that's especially true when Greinke pitches, as he has a .358 on base percentage as a hitter for the Dodgers.