Series Preview: Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks

Colorado Rockies vs. Cincinnati Reds [8.24.08]
Tonight’s starter Jorge De La Rosa was great during April. (Photo Courtesy of Cheryl Wilson, Flickr)

For the first since the very beginning of the season, the Rockies and Diamondbacks will face one another, this time with games being played at Chase Field. Colorado comes in with one of the best records in baseball at 17-9 while Arizona is three games under .500 and 5.5 games behind the division leading Rockies.

Here are the pitching matchups for the three-game series.

Jorge De La Rosa (4-0, 2.61 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (0-3, 5.93 ERA)

Jhoulys Chacin (3-2, 2.91 ERA) vs. Barry Enright (1-2, 5.76 ERA)

Jason Hammel (3-1, 3.23 ERA) vs. Armando Galarraga (3-2, 5.46 ERA)

Whenever you think of successful Rockies teams in past seasons, you always look to their offense, but it has been their pitching so far this season that has been really impressive, all of this coming with Ubaldo Jimenez struggling in his first four starts. The ace of the staff is winless with an ERA over seven. Jimenez won’t be pitching in this series.

De La Rosa, Chacin and Hammel have more than made up for Jimenez’s strugggles in the first monthof the season. All three feature ERA’s well below their career averages. De La Rosa, who will be Colorado’s starter tonight, probably has the best stuff of the bunch averaging nearly a strikeout per inning.

Their bullpen has been suberb as well. Except for Felipe Paulino, every member of Colorado’s pen has an ERA under four. Huston Street has yet to blown a save in 10 chances and the foursome of Rafael Betancourt, Franklin Morales, Matt Lindstrom and Matt Reynolds have done a great job of getting the ball to Street with a lead in the late innings.

With their pitching carrying the way, Colorado’s offense has really struggled during the first month of the season. The Rockies are hitting a poor .237 so far, 22nd best in all of baseball. They are 29th in hits, 10th in runs and tied for 15th in hitting balls out of the park.

 The Rockies offensive struggles begin with their superstar outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is hitting just .232 with only one home run. Chris Iannetta and Jose Lopez have yet to hit as well. All three are two good of hitters to continue struggling like this, especcially Gonzo. Cross your fingersthat they don’t get hot during these three games in Phoenix.

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