April 13, 2012;Washington, D.C., USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmerman (27) throws a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

Rockies Lineup, July 8 2012: Guthrie Gets Another Start

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Today’s game with the Washington Nationals will mercifully bring the first half of this season to an end. After the All-Star break this week, the trade talks for the Colorado Rockies promise to heat up in a big way. The newest rumors involve catcher Ramon Hernandez. Remember him? I almost forgot about him myself. Although maybe I’m not much of a measure; I think I forget about Wil Nieves every time we are between his starts.

As far as this season goes, the oldest rumor still has to do with the trade the Rockies most urgently need to make: getting the charming and intelligent yet miserable and ineffective Jeremy Guthrie out of town. Everybody involved needs Guthrie to build on his solid performance earlier this week and pitch well today so that he can create something like “trade value” for himself (yes, it still deserves scare quotes).

The piping hot Tyler Colvin remains in the lineup, with Michael Cuddyer headed to the bench to make room for Todd Helton to get a start. Here is the rest of the Rockies lineup:

Dexter Fowler CF
Marco Scutaro SS
Carlos Gonzalez LF
Tyler Colvin RF
Todd Helton 1B
Jordan Pacheco 3B
Jonathan Herrera SS
Wil Nieves C
Jeremy Guthrie P

One way to look at the disastrous starting pitching this season: what would you have thought if I had told you, back in April, that Jeff Francis would be back on the Rockies, that he would be their best pitcher, and that you would like him better than the newly acquired Guthrie? That would have been certifiable, right?

Davey Johnson counters with the following lineup from his All-Star-packed roster:

Steve Lombardozzi LF
Bryce Harper CF
Ryan Zimmerman 3B
Michael Morse RF
Adam LaRoche 1B
Ian Desmond SS
Danny Espinosa 2B
Jhonatan Solano C
Jordan Zimmerman P

I promise I did not make a mistake on Solano’s first name; that is really how he spells it. Zimmerman has been dialed in as of late, going at least 6 innings and surrendering 2 runs or fewer in his last 4 starts. That’s not surprising these days though; it has become the Nationals’ way.

For everything that has gone wrong, the Rockies have a chance to enter the All-Star break on a high note. If they win today’s rubber match, it will be a rare series win on the road against a quality opponent.

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