Diamondbacks-Rockies Series Preview: Oh Coors Field
By Joseph Jacquez
May 22, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) reacts after hitting a pop fly ball during the second inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Before the Reds series, the Diamondbacks were playing better at home and winning series on a consistent basis. There was hope amongest Dbacks Nation and the media that the team could turn around the 2014 season after a horrible month of April, and that the Snakes were a much better team than there record indicated. Overall, the Snakes did have a better month of May but they also play in the same division as the best team in baseball the Giants, and they are still 15 games back.
The team was also dealt a big blow in two ways this weekend: they lost 3 of 4 to the Reds and more importantly they lost A.J Pollack with a fractured right hand after he was hit by a Johnny Cueto fastball for at least six weeks. Along with Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings, no Dback hitter has been hotter, and it was becoming harder and harder to take him out of the leadoff spot. He just won his second N.L player of the week award leading the league in average among other categories and it is defiantly a big blow. All the Dbacks can do is try to move on without him, and take one series at a time. Its also a chance for the Dbacks fans to see some young guys like David Peralta and Nick Evans who make his first big league start in game 1.
Key Storyline: The key storyline focuses on the contending Rockies and more specifically their offense in their home ballpark. The Rockies are putting up ridiculous numbers at Coors Field. Now I know that Coors Field is the most extreme hitters park but the numbers this offense is putting up is amazing. One player in particular is putting up historic numbers in his park and that would be the leading candidate so far the MVP in the National League, Troy Tulowitzki. Overall, Tulo leads the majors in batting average (.350), OBP (.450), and he has the second best slugging percentage (.661) in all of baseball. Those numbers however are greatly misleading because of the home and away splits are so different. Tulo went 6 for 30 in the team’s just completed road trip, and overall on the road he has a .804 OPS compared with a ridiculous 1.559 OPS at Coors. Dbacks pitching are going to have a hard time in this series, just saying.
Game by Game:
Game 1: RHP Chase Anderson vs. LHP Jorge De La Rosa
Anderson has had a great start to his career… He is the only Dbacks rookie starter to win his first three starts and its partly because the Snakes offense has given him a ton of run support… In his last two outings alone he has gotten 30 runs of support…De La Rosa held the Phillies to one run in six innings in his last start….Overall he is 6-3 with a 3.66 era…He is 8-5 with a 2.57 era in 101.2 innings pitched.
Game 2: RHP Josh Collmenter vs. RHP Jordan Lyles
Collmenter had the best start of his career Thursday tossing a complete game shutout while facing the minimum of batters…It was the second best start of any Dbacks starter, the best was when Randy Johnson threw a perfect game against the Braves in 2004…He has solidified his spot in the Dbacks rotation and for Josh, that is where he wants to be…Lyles has been really good for the Rockies this season with an overall record of 5-1 and an era of 3.46…However after a great first seven starts, he has really struggled in his last three giving up 10 earned runs and 11 walks over his last 11 and a third innings.
Game 3: RHP Bronson Arroyo vs. RHP Juan Nicasio
Arroyo picked up the loss in his last outing against his former team the Reds after giving up a grand slam to Devin Mesoraco… He went seven innings for the fifth time in his last six starts despite giving up 5 runs…Nicasio is 5-3 with a ok 4.06 era on the year…In his last start he allowed five runs against the Indians…Against the Dbacks in 26.0 innings he has a 6.23 era.
Series Prediction: Despite the Rockies offense and this series taking place at Coors Field, the Rockies are also sliding as a team, and I have liked the Dbacks overall performance as of late. The Rockies should win game 1 but I like the Dbacks to take game 2 and game 3 behind Collmenter and Arroyo their two best pitchers as of late.