Colorado Rockies hats and gloves at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the Cubs 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The NL West features two new General Managers. The San Diego Padres hired A.J. Preller. He promptly brought fantasy baseball to life with all the moves he made to improve his team. Our Colorado Rockies placed the General Manager title on the plate of Jeff Bridich. He took the stance that a healthy Troy Tulowitzi and Carlos Gonzalez and some minor tweaks was all our Rockies needed to improve. In their first head-to-head meeting of the 2015 season, I’m calling it a tie. I’m a perfect 4-0 calling Rockies series thus far.
The word healthy now applies to Rockies staff ace Jorge De La Rosa. Here’s a snippet from a fellow Rox Pile writer’s article chronicling De La Rosa’s week in AAA:
"Jorge De La Rosa made two rehab starts for Albuquerque during the week, his last on Tuesday. In both starts, Jorge hung around the strike zone challenging hitters and of the 133 pitches he threw in Albuquerque, 87 were strikes. The biggest takeaway from DLR’s starts with the Isotopes, beyond his command, is his ability to keep the ball on the ground. 14 combined ground outs vs. three combined fly outs shows Jorge may be back to form in his tremendous ability to keep balls down and in the yard in Coors Field."
De La Rosa will start Monday’s series opener versus the San Diego Padres starter that Preller tried to bump out of the starting rotation with the acquisition of Brandon Morrow (who starts Tuesday). Due to an injury to Ian Kennedy, Odrisamar Despaigne takes his career 5.31 road ERA into Coors Field.
Tyler Matzek makes his 3rd start of the season. He pitched 4 innings in his first start and 6 innings in his second. Against last year’s San Diego Padres, I would gladly say Matzek keeps the trend going and pitches 8 innings. These are not last year’s Padres though and two of their newcomers have had success against Matzek, albeit in a small sample size. National league players now in San Diego, Matt Kemp is 3 for 6 and Justin Upton 1 for 3 against Matzek.
Brandon Morrow has not pitched at Coors Field since 2010. Morrow took the hard luck loss going 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and only 1 run. Morrow did walk 3 batters and struck out 6.
Current Rockies are batting 2-13 versus Morrow. Those 2 hits are by Justin Morneau. I’m going to predict Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Nolan Arenado, and DJ LeMahieu all collect their first hits against Morrow leading our Rox to victory.
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Kyle Kendrick‘s line his past two games: 9.2 innings, 15 hits, 14 earned runs against, 9 walks, 9 strikeouts. The folks I mentioned as nemesis’ to Matzek have not been any kinder to Kendrick. Matt Kemp is batting .444 in 9 at-bats while Justin Upton is batting .348 in 23 at-bats including 2 homeruns.
Baseball-reference.com has a stat called “162 game average“. I took that average and divided down to one game. My official prediction for Kendrick’s line on Wednesday: 5 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts.
James Shields pitched once at Coors Field last season. Shields earned the win going 6 innings, giving up 9 hits and 2 runs while walking 1 and striking out 6.
If Kendrick pitches to his career norm and Shields pitches to his last game here at Coors that makes it 3-2 Padres.
Jordan Lyles, for the most part, has been very consistent this season. 3 starts, 6 innings played and 5 hits against each time. It’s no coincidence that as his walks have increased in each game, so have his runs against. Two of the rare Padre holdovers have enjoyed great success against Lyles. Alexei Amarista bats .455 and Yonder Alonso bats an insane .750 with 2 homeruns against Lyles.
Padres counter with Tyson Ross. Prior to last season, Ross was a career 9-26 bouncing between the bullpen and starting rotation. Last year in his first full season as a starter, Ross averaged a strikeout per inning for the 1st time in his career. Prior to the late off-season acquisition of James Shield, the discussion on FanSided’s San Diego site was whether or not Tyson Ross was their ace over Andrew Cashner (who we don’t face).
Our Rockies defeated the Brewers 1-2 starters, avoided the 1-2 punch of the Cubs and Giants, were handled by the Dodgers 1-2 punch. Following a hunch here.