After a frustrating road trip, the Colorado Rockies (53-41, 3rd in the NL West) will head home to face the San Diego Padres (40-51, 4th in the NL West). Although the Rockies closed out their series in New York with a big win, it’s hard to forget the blowouts they suffered in the first two games of a series that should have been more competitive. After being outscored 23-5 in the first two games the Rockies offense came to life in Sunday’s game to escape from New York without getting swept. The Padres on the other hand, are coming off a third straight series win against the Giants and have some momentum coming into Coors Field. The Rockies and Padres have faced each other nine times already this season, and the Rockies hold a slim 5-4 lead in the season series.
Starting Pitching Notes
The Rockies will face Luis Perdomo, Dinelson Lamet, and Clayton Richard in the series. Perdomo is in his second year and has had ups and downs this season, as can be expected from a 24-year-old. He is great at generating ground balls. His 67.1 percent ground ball rate is the second-best rate in baseball among pitchers who have thrown at least 50 innings. Lamet is a Rookie making just his ninth major league start. He has been inconsistent in his first eight starts, sporting a 2.2 HR/9 and 3.29 BB/9. He has great strikeout stuff, however, and has fanned 55 batters in his 41 innings this year. Richard will pitch to contact, induce ground balls, and avoid walking guys. He’s what you expect from a back-of-the-rotation veteran.
The Padres had a tough start to the season, as typically reliable guys like Brad Hand and Ryan Buchter struggled out of the gate, leading to a 4.54 xFIP during April and May, good for 20th in the league. Since the start of June, Buchter and Hand have bounced back, and new addition Phil Maton has shone as the bullpen owns a shining 3.29 xFIP, the best mark in baseball.
Rockies fans are accustomed to watching a struggling offense this season, and now they’ll get a chance to see an offense arguably worse than the one currently playing its home games at Coors Field. The Padres have been the worst offense in baseball with a WAR of 2.7. The next team on the list in the Blue Jays at 4.7 (the Rockies rank 25th at 5.7). The Padres offense is currently depleted. They’re without Travis Jankowski (foot), Yangervis Solarte (oblique), Hunter Renfroe (neck), and Austin Hedges (head). Hedges may be ready to join the team Monday, so they’ll possibly get some reinforcements. But even at full strength the offense is not great.
The Padres come into the series with a -25 DRS, which ranks 26th in baseball. The poor defense basically applies to the entire team, as the only position on the diamond where they have a positive DRS is in center field, where their DRS is 1. All eight remaining positions have actually cost the team runs. Traditional stats agree with the advanced metrics, as their .982 fielding percentage is also good for 26th in the league.
Incredibly, the Rockies managed to pick up a game on the Diamondbacks in their series against the Mets, as the Braves swept the D-backs in Atlanta. The Rockies now sit just one game back of Arizona for the Wild Card lead. Ian Desmond returned to action last night, picking up two hits and driving in two. The Rockies will have German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela, and Jon Gray going in the series. Senzatela returns to the rotation after coming out of the pen the last few weeks, and Gray looks to bounce back after a nightmarish start in New York where he failed to finish the third inning.
The Rockies are superior to this Padres team in every way except maybe the bullpen. Rockies starters should be able to keep this offense at bay, and the Rockies offense should be able to stay hot against this group of starters. The Rockies’ struggles will have to come to an end at some point if they want to hang on to their lead in the Wild Card (now down to five and a half games), and a series against the Padres may be just what the doctor ordered. If the Rockies can’t find a way to win this series at home, it will raise a lot of questions about their playoff hopes and may help dictate how they will proceed as the trade deadline approaches.
Probable Pitchers and Schedule
Monday, July 17 @ 6:40 pm MT (ATT SportsNet, 850KOA/94.1)
Luis Perdomo (4-4, 4.54 ERA) vs. German Marquez (6-4, 4.36 ERA)
Tuesday, July 18 @ 6:40 pm MT (ATT SportsNet, 850KOA/94.1)
Dinelson Lamet (3-3, 5.93 ERA) vs. Antonio Senzatela (9-3, 4.63 ERA)
Wednesday, July 19 @ 1:10 pm MT (No TV, 850KOA/94.1)
Clayton Richard (5-9, 4.75 ERA) vs. Jon Gray (2-1, 6.23 ERA)