After salvaging a game in Sunday's series finale against the Padres, the Colorado Rockies will turn to right-hander Tyler Chatwood on the mound as they look for a series-opening win against the San Francisco Giants.
Chatwood, who missed all of 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, has one of just two quality starts for the Rockies' starting staff this season. In his first start of 2016, Chatwood pitched 6⅓ innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts in Arizona. He also got 12 groundouts against just two flyouts.
He will face a Giants lineup tonight that is without catcher/first baseman Buster Posey, who will miss the game with a foot injury. Posey's absence means that 24-year-old Trevor Brown will be behind the plate for the Giants and batting eighth while Brandon Belt plays first base and bats cleanup. The Giants also have a new leadoff hitter this season in center fielder Denard Span. Aside from those changes, the Giants lineup looks awfully familiar to the one the Rockies saw last season.
On the mound for San Francisco is one of the Giants' big free agent acquisitions this winter in right-hander Jeff Samardzija. The 31-year-old earned a no decision in his first start as a Giant in Milwaukee, allowing three runs on eight hits in 5⅓ innings against the Brewers with three walks and six strikeouts.
Samardzija has allowed 30 home runs since the start of the 2015 season, sixth-most in all of baseball, and he faces a Rockies team tonight that leads the league with 17 home runs in 2016. This is just Samardzija's second career start at Coors Field. He allowed just one run on a Dexter Fowler home run on four hits in 7⅓ innings in his only other Coors Field start in July of 2013.
The Rockies' lineup against Samardzija tonight looks a bit unorthodox toward the bottom, with Chatwood batting eighth and second baseman DJ LeMahieu batting ninth, presumably to get extra men on base for the likes of Trevor Story and Carlos Gonzalez the second and third times through the order. Additionally, Mark Reynolds gets the start at first base tonight, batting sixth.
First pitch at Coors Field tonight is at 6:40 p.m. Mountain time.