Patrick Saunders points out how Colorado has historically struggled on the road against the Dodgers (82-143). A perennial contender playing home games inside the largest venue in baseball brings about challenges for any visiting team.
Friday night was no different—aside from the 56,000 seats inside Dodger Stadium being empty, and a 2020 Rockies pitching staff that has thrown particularly well inside opposing ballparks.
“The Rockies entered Friday’s play with a 1.63 road ERA through 10 games, the lowest road ERA in the majors.” Colorado’s two games at Minute Maid Park on Monday and Tuesday featured a combined four runs scored by the Astros.
While the road games have shown well for the pitching staff, some home struggles against Houston on Wednesday and Thursday may have tipped some of the momentum. In those two games, the pitching staff allowed a combined 23 runs.
The bullpen has still managed to shine over the past two games, however. Colorado relievers threw four innings of scoreless work on Thursday. Jeff Hoffman, Phillip Diehl and Jairo Díaz combined to allow one run over 4 1⁄3 innings on Friday night.
Colorado did allow five Dodgers runs to score on Friday night, but it was below the 5.59 per game the Dodgers have averaged.
Saunders supplements his article with a few other details:
- Raimel Tapia’s future placement in the leadoff spot: “It could be, if not a permanent move, then at least something manager Bud Black will use frequently.”
- Joe Harvey’s elbow after his Friday placement on the 10-day IL: Black says that Harvey’s MRI “showed a little bit of trauma to the elbow joint.” “It doesn’t look as though anything is pending or is long term [that] might affect Joe.”
Walker Buehler went into Friday’s game with a 5.21 ERA over 19 innings. Going into his fifth start of the year, this link featured a quote from Dodgers pitching coach Mark Prior: “We’ve been seeing progress over [Buehler’s] last couple starts. First we started seeing the velocity tick up a couple starts ago. Last time we saw the command tick up.” Buehler allowed one earned run over six innings on Friday, limiting a Rockies offense that had scored 14 runs against the Astros in their previous two games.
“Nine of [the Dodgers’] old friend Matt Kemp’s 13 starts have come against left-handers this season, but the Dodgers are throwing three right-handers out there this weekend.” Dustin May will take the ball for the Saturday start, followed by Ross Stripling on Sunday.
May will make his first career start against the Rockies this evening. His only other appearance against Colorado came on September 22 of last year, as he pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
He throws a four-seamer, cutter, and an occasional curveball. The break on his cutter can induce a good amount of swings and misses, and he uses it mainly against lefties. Colorado started five left-handed bats on Friday, and could do so again this evening.
“It’s not the best time for the Colorado Rockies to hit the road for three games at Chavez Ravine . . . However, in a stretch where there is no off day for the Rockies until September 3, the team has nowhere to go but forward.”
Kevin Henry of RoxPile identifies three key factors that can benefit the Rockies this weekend: bullpen contributions, continued improvements by young hitters, and “Nolan being Nolan.”
Henry mentions the strong work by Tapia in the month of August, with a .375 average and .500 on-base percentage going into Friday. He further mentions how Arenado’s seven strikeouts going into Friday matched his seven home runs. “If he can keep hitting the ball hard, good things will happen for Arenado. Past years show that.”
★ ★ ★
Please keep in mind our Purple Row Community Guidelines when you’re commenting. Thanks!