Series Preview – Florida Marlins


The Rox head south to tangle with the Fish in a four game set.  The Rockies are currently 1-2 on this 11 game road trip.

Probable Starters

Monday 7/19 – Jimenez (15-1, 2.20) vs. Sanchez (7-6, 3.66)

Tuesday 7/20 – Francis (2-3, 5.14) vs. Robertson (6-7, 5.10)

Wednesday 7/21 – Hammel (7-4, 4.07) vs. Nolasco (9-7, 4.66)

Thursday 7/22 – De La Rosa (3-2, 6.16) vs. Johnson (10-3, 1.62)

Three Questions

  1.  Who’s on first?  In the three game set against the Reds, Jason Giambi, Brad Hawpe, and Brad Eldred all started one game apiece at first base.  How will Jim Tracy manage the playing time in this series?  It makes sense for Giambi to get a start or two against the four righties the Marlins will send to the mound.  Will the Brad Hawpe experiment continue?  Hawpe handled the position well in his first Major League start there against the Reds.  I believe we will continue to see a revolving door at this position, unless the Rockies make an upgrade before the trade deadline.
  2. Can either team get to the other’s ace?  The Rox have Ubaldo going in the first game against Anibal Sanchez, while the Fish send Josh Johnson to the hill against Jorge De La Rosa in the series finale.  On paper, these matchups look favorable for Jimenez and Johnson.  Will the aces be able to hold serve, or will either team be able to steal a win?  I believe that Jimenez will shut down the Fish in a close one tonight, and Johnson will continue his success as De La Rosa continues to scuffle.
  3. Can the Rox salvage at least a split?  After dropping two of three in Cincinnati, the Rox need to reestablish some momentum.  Splitting a series in humid South Florida against a pesky Marlins team would be a boost for the big weekend series in Philly.  The first game seems like a likely Rockies win, while the Thursday finale looks like a probable loss.  The Francis – Robertson matchup looks like a tossup right now, as both pitchers have not played their best baseball this season.  The Hammel – Nolasco pairing is interesting as well, as both have pitched pretty well this season.  If Hammel can pitch like he did his last time out, the Rox could take this game.  I think Hammel will win, and the Rox will happily take a split in this series.

Series to Watch

Rockies fans should check out the Phillies at Cardinals series.  The Cards are tied with the Rox for the Wild Card, while the Phils are two games back.  Additionally, the Rockies travel to Philly after this series for a four game series.  Rox fans should root for the Phillies to win this series and knock the Cards back in the Wild Card race.  Then the Rox need to go to Philadelphia and take care of the Phillies themselves.