As the Denver Nuggets prepare for game 7 against the Los Angeles Lakers tomorrow night in Staples Center, the Colorado Rockies start a key three game series against the Dodgers. It’s a Denver vs. Los Angeles kind of weekend.
On the last homestand, the Rockies had a chance to turn things around against the Dodgers after a tough series loss at the hands of the New York Mets. Now they enter a road series against them in a similar situation, having dropped a series to the worst team in the National League and hoping to turn one of those dreaded west coast swings into something positive.
From day one this year, the Rockies have asked too much of Jamie Moyer. The pressure on Moyer was supposed to be low: pitch like a solid fifth stater, keep the team competitive, be a strong veteran presence. Instead he has needed to pitch deep into games, help salvage the bullpen, and even be what baseball people call a “stopper.” The rotation has been so shoddy that Alex White and Christian Friedrich absolutely must get another start simply because they pitched one good game each in San Diego (against the aforementioned worst team in the National League). Not that I am disagreeing with this; I just want to put it out there and let it stand on its own as a commentary on the state of the Rockies pitching staff. That is what we currently consider “depth.” Hopefully it represents some steps in the right direction.
The Rockies need to win games between now and the end of this trip. It is at least somewhat urgent in terms of the big picture of their season. A Friday night victory in LA would be huge to hopefully generate some momentum. Considering that and the well documented volatility of the rotation, there is big pressure on Jamie Moyer tonight (again). Also, hopefully he doesn’t pick a fight with Bobby Abreu.
Here is the lineup Jim Tracy sends to face Dodgers starter Chris Capuano:
As is typically the case with this lineup, Pacheco and Fowler are the ones who can have a unique impact. If they are tough outs, then the Rockies have a frighteningly deep lineup. Don Mattingly counters with the following lineup:
Abreu and then Uribe as the 5 and 6 combo? That’s….er….searching for a nice way to say this…
Hmmm…what’s the word I’m looking for?
One other bit of business: MLB.com’s Thomas Harding reports that Josh Outman is on the lineup card for tonight’s game. Troy Renck from the Denver Post speculates that my man Carlos Torres might be the one who is sent down to make room for Outman. If Outman does make his debut this weekend, he will hope to make Rockies fans know him for something other than being placed on the DL for eating Denny’s (more or less). At least that’s what I would want to do.