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Game Preview: Rockies in desperate need of win, turn to Morales

Tulo and Morneau out, Ben Paulsen in

Rob Tringali

When you visit the Rockies' 2014 Baseball Reference page, there's a timeline of the season, where a win is represented by a green bar, and a loss represented by a red bar. The last two months show a whole lot of red. Time to turn that around.

Can Franklin Morales help us out? On the one hand, no, he's terrible. On the other hand, in each of his last two starts he only gave up one run. Sure they were only in 5.2 and 5 innings respectively, but we have to take what we can get.

There was some bad news earlier today; Justin Morneau is going on the 15 day disabled list. This mysterious neck strain that knocked him out of the Pirates series is apparently more serious than we thought. Please get well Justin.

Rather than go with the Charlie Culberson Experience at first for the foreseeable future, the Rockies made a move. They called up Ben Paulsen from Triple-A Colorado Springs. The journeyman minor leaguer has worked his way slowly up the Rockies' minor league ladder, and now the 26 year old is getting his chance. Good for Ben. He's playing first base and hitting sixth.

In 400 Colorado Springs plate appearances Paulsen has hit .291/.380/.524. That's obviously an excellent line, but you have to take all PCL batting lines with a boulder of salt. At least he's not Charlie Culberson.

Troy Tulowitzki is still nursing that thigh. I've heard noises from the Twitter that he could be okay for tomorrow's game. We've all heard that before. I swear to God, Tulo should never play in weather below 65 degrees.

Doug Fister is the pitcher for the Nats today. He's really good, what with the 2.90 ERA and everything. On July 2nd he held the Rockies to three runs in seven innings.

No Bryce Harper? If you say so...

<div class="pane sports_data_widget lineup clearfix">
<h3>Today's Lineups</h3>
<div class="lineup">
<table cellspacing="0" class="zebra">
<th align="left">WASHINGTON NATIONALS</th>
<th align="left">COLORADO ROCKIES</th>
<tr><td class="td-last td-name">Denard Span - CF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Charlie Blackmon - CF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Anthony Rendon - 3B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Josh Rutledge - SS</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Jayson Werth - RF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Corey Dickerson - LF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Adam LaRoche - 1B</td><td class="td-first td-name">Carlos Gonzalez - RF</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Ryan Zimmerman - LF</td><td class="td-first td-name">Nolan Arenado - 3B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Ian Desmond - SS</td><td class="td-first td-name">Ben Paulsen - 1B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Wilson Ramos - C</td><td class="td-first td-name">Wilin Rosario - C</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Danny Espinosa - 2B</td><td class="td-first td-name">DJ LeMahieu - 2B</td></tr><tr><td class="td-last td-name">Doug Fister - RHP</td><td class="td-first td-name">Franklin Morales - LHP</td></tr></tbody>
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