Series Preview: Rockies @ Marlins (4/22 — 4/24)

The Rockies have taken their talents to South Beach.  Tonight through Sunday they are taking on one of the NL’s hottest teams, the Marlins.  Florida has won six of their last seven to move within half a game of first place.  They’ve done it with solid pitching – a 3.16 team ERA – and a collection of some of the finest young talent in baseball.

This series will provide an excellent test for the Rox.  Despite going 7-1 on the season’s first road trip, many are still worried about the Rockies’ road performance.  Those eight games came against league lightweights, the Pirates and Mets and they weren’t enough to make us forget about the road woes of 2010.  The Marlins actually have a chance at a winning record this year; it won’t be easy to take two games at their house.

2011 Record: 13-5, 1st in NL West (3 Game Lead)

2011 Record: 11-6, 2nd in NL East (0.5 GB)

Pitching Matchups (Provided by MLB.com)

April 22nd, 5:10 PM MT – Jhoulys Chacin vs. Anibal Sanchez

Chacin will aim to repeat the masterful performance from his last outing, when he shut out the Cubs while striking out seven in a 5-0 Rockies win. This will mark the right-hander’s first career start against the Marlins. – MLB.com

What could have been a long day for Sanchez turned into a quality start for the righty. He gave up two runs in a 26-pitch first inning at Philadelphia, but settled, working six innings, while fanning eight in a no-decision. He is 1-0 vs. Colorado. – MLB.com

April 23rd, 5:10 PM MT – Esmil Rogers vs. Javier Vazquez

Rogers will try to bounce back from a rough start his last time out, when he gave up eight runs in just three innings in an 8-1 loss to the Giants. Rogers is 2-0 with a 2.77 ERA on the road this season. – MLB.com

The veteran right-hander still is struggling to work deep into games. He’s made three starts, and six innings is his maximum. In his last outing, he went five while allowing three runs in Philadelphia. – MLB.com

April 24th, 11:10 AM MT – Ubaldo Jimenez vs. Josh Johnson

Jimenez is still searching for his 2010 form after surrendering four runs (all in the first inning) while working five innings in a loss to the Giants, his first outing since returning from a cuticle injury that placed him on the 15-day DL. – MLB.com

Johnson is among the game’s hottest pitchers after allowing a combined three hits and striking out 18 in 14 1/3 scoreless innings against the Braves and Pirates. – MLB.com

Who’s Hot

Marlins

Gabby Sanchez – So far this season, Sanchez is hitting .328 with a .405 OBP.  Logan Morrison is probably the team’s hottest hitter.  Unfortunately, he just went on the DL with a sprained foot.  Here is the tweet he sent to announce the news:

Breaking news: sprained ligament in my foot out 2 to 4 weeks. Suck on that. Told u fantasy people not to pick me up.

I like Morrison. He’s funny and well named.

Rockies

Over the last week Seth Smith has six hits in seventeen at-bats.  Four of those hits have been for extra bases.  In addition, he has drawn two walks and scored seven runs.  He missed two games with a strained groin.  It’s hardly a coincidence that the Rox failed to generate much offense in either contest.  Smith was a question mark coming into the season.  So far, he’s been an answer.

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Topics: Anabel Sanchez, Anibal Sanchez, Colorado Rockies, Esmil Rogers, Florida Marlins, Gaby Sanchez, Javier Vazquez, Jhoulys Chacin, Josh Johnson, Logan Morrison, Rockies - Marlins Series Preview, Seth Smith, Ubaldo Jimenez

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