One of the best pitching staffs in the majors so far comes to Coors Field to start a four game series against one of the worst. The Washington Nationals enter the series with the Rockies with a N.L. East best 41-29 record and are leading the majors in ERA with a 2.97 average. The Nationals as a staff have been so good this year that their ERA+ (adjusted number for the run-scoring levels of different eras and also factors in the influence of a team’s home ballpark) of 135 ranks only behind the 1926 Philadelphia A’s who finished at 139. Tonight the ace of their staff gets his first attempt at baseball in Denver. Stephen Strasburg comes into tonight game with a 9-1 record and a 2.46 ERA on season and is leading the National League with 110 strikeouts over 84 innings. Strasburg has not lost since May 15 and the Nationals have only lost 2 of his 14 starts this season. Jeff Francis makes his 3rd start of 2012 for Colorado, and has shown signs of improvement over his last three starts, most recently going 5 innings with 1 earned run in a no-decision against the Phillies, a game Colorado would win 4-1.
Chris Nelson sits tonight even though he has hit .333 in June with 5 home runs and is a career .323 hitter at Coors Field. No one currently on the Rockies has yet to face Strasburg in a MLB game.
Rookie phenom Bryce Harper will get his first crack to Coors tonight, he is hitting for a .286/.367/.497 slash line with 7 home runs in 2012.