The Colorado Rockies visit to San Francisco was a letdown to say the least. Scoring three runs in two games, the Rockies offense looked the way we’ve grown accustomed to them looking. Things are bad right now but they have a chance to improve because, as luck would have it, the Pirates walked off against the Brewers last night, salvaging the Rockies one game lead in the Wild Card race. Now the Brewers will face the vaunted Cubs for four games while the Rockies take on the lowly Padres.
The Padres come into the series having won three of their last four games, one of which was against the Rockies. They just completed a home series win against the Diamondbacks and are playing good baseball lately. The Rockies are 10-5 against the Padres this season and have outscored them in those games 101-56. Suffice it to say, the Rockies should head home on Monday with a healthy series win. Unfortunately, these Rockies are having a hard time putting runs on the board so it could be a series of close, hard fought games.
The Padres have been the league’s third worst offense this year in terms of wRC+ at 84. They have struck out at a 25 percent clip, third highest in baseball, their OBP of .300 is worst in baseball, their 0.32 BB/K rate is the third worst mark in the league, and their league-worst 589 runs scored is 25 runs worse than the next team on the list. Although those numbers have all improved as the year has gone on, this is still a bad offense and the Rockies staff should be able to hold them down with ease in this series.
Starting Pitching Notes
The Rockies have faced all four of the San Diego starters this season with immense success. Clayton Richard owns a 9.98 ERA in his three starts against them with a 2.28 WHIP in 15.1 innings of work. In his only start against the Rockies, Jordan Lyles unsurprisingly surrendered seven earned runs in just four innings. Jhoulys Chacin has struggles to the tune of a 5.23 ERA against the Rockies this year. Luis Perdomo has walked five Rockies in his eight and a third innings while surrendering eight runs, six of them earned. All told, the Padres scheduled starters combine for an 8.53 ERA against the Rockies this season.
The Padres sold a lot of their bullpen pieces at the trade deadline and have been left with a makeshift group that has provided mixed results. Their 5.10 FIP in the second half of the year is third worst in baseball but there have been a lot of guys performing well out of the pen. Brad Hand is one of the league’s top closers since taking over for Brandon Maurer, putting up 17 saves and a 2.22 ERA to go with an 11.75 K/9. Craig Stammen has had a great second half, compiling 10 holds and a 0.90 ERA in 30 innings since the break. August callup Buddy Baumann has been surprisingly great for the team as well, providing three holds and a 1.15 ERA since his promotion.
The Padres have the fourth worst fielding percentage in baseball at .981, committing the fourth most errors in baseball with 106 and sporting a DRS of -4. The key offender is Corey Spangenberg with -14 DRS at third base. In Spangenberg’s case, he gets a bit of a pass because prior to this season, he had only played roughly 30 games there in his professional career. Other problem spots are Luis Torrens with -3 DRS at Catcher, Erick Aybar with -3 DRS at shortstop, and Yangervis Solarte with -2 DRS at second base. In right field, Hunter Renfroe has an abysmal .958 fielding percentage but his -1 DRS suggests he’s done enough to mostly make up for his errors.
Over his last nine starts, Carlos Gonzalez is slashing .323/.417/.710. Tyler Anderson, Thursday’s starter, has yet to give up a run since returning from the DL, giving up just three hits and two walks in his ten innings of work. The Rockies hold a one game lead on the Brewers in the race for the second Wild Card spot. The Arizona Diamondbacks currently sit five and a half games ahead of the Rockies for home field advantage in the Wild Card game.
The Rockies are facing another team with nothing to play for who can’t hit, pitch, or field. The Padres are inferior to the Rockies in every aspect and the expectation should be a series win here. Unfortunately, as we learned in the Giants series, the Rockies offense is capable of a total collapse at any point so there may be some frustrating moments. The Rockies can take control of the Wild Card race this weekend, especially if the Brewers struggle against the Cubs. This is the biggest weekend of the year for the Rockies and if they can manage a series win or sweep, they may come into next week just a couple wins away from clinching a playoff berth.
Probable Pitchers and Schedule
Thursday, September 21 @ 8:10 pm MT (ATT SportsNet, 850KOA/94.1)
Tyler Anderson (5-5, 5.28 ERA) vs. Clayton Richard (7-14, 4.82 ERA)
Friday, September 22 @ 8:10 pm MT (ATT SportsNet, 850KOA/94.1)
Jon Gray (8-4, 3.75 ERA) vs. Jordan Lyles (1-3, 7.35 ERA)
Saturday, September 23 @ 6:40 pm MT (ATT SportsNet, 850KOA/94.1)
Chad Bettis (1-3, 6.23 ERA) vs. Jhoulys Chacin (12-10, 4.12 ERA)
Sunday, September 24 @ 2:40 pm MT (ATT SportsNet, KHOW 630)
German Marquez (10-7, 4.41 ERA) vs. Luis Perdomo (8-10, 4.57 ERA)