Arizona Diamondbacks vs Colorado Rockies, Series Preview

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Apr 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks center fielder Ender Inciarte (5) celebrates with teammates after beating the Colorado Rockies 9-1 at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies are back in Denver, and they’ll start off this week’s homestand looking for revenge against their division rival Arizona Diamondbacks, who took two of three last week in Phoenix. 

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The Colorado Rockies are looking for a little revenge. The Arizona Diamondbacks, visiting town Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, embarrassed the Rockies in the last two games of the series in Phoenix last week, outscoring the Rox 21-6 and chasing Kyle Kendrick and Jordan Lyles early from both starts last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Now, the Rockies will get an immediate shot to give the Dbacks a taste of their own medicine with three games in Denver to start the home stand, and the week.

Here’s what to know about this week’s series:

DATES, TIMES, AND PITCHERS

Monday, May 4, 6:40 pm
Tyler Matzek (2-0, 2.70) vs. Josh Collmenter (2-3, 2.76)

Tuesday, May 5, 6:40 pm
Eddie Butler (2-2, 3.81) vs. Robbie Ray (0-0, -.–)

Wednesday, May 6, 1:10 pm
TBD (-) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (2-2, 5.40)

KEYS FOR THE ROCKIES

Show up, pitching. 

The Rockies started Kyle Kendrick on Sunday, and gave Tyler Matzek another day off after hamstring cramps derailed his start in Arizona last week. Now, Matzek gets the ball Monday night in Denver, followed by Eddie Butler, who would be throwing on just three days rest in what would usually be Jordan Lyles’ position.

Lyles, as our staff writer Len Nunes notes, isn’t listed anywhere on the probable pitchers, piquing interest and perhaps creating another injury issue in addition to Adam Ottavino’s season-ending injury announced today.

Whatever is or isn’t happening with Lyles, and anyone else in the rotation, the bottom line is this: the starting rotation (and pitching in general) needs to show up and give the Rockies a chance to win in every game this series. That means throwing six innings (or more) per start, and leaving allowing four runs or less.

I know, that’s not a “quality” start, but I’m trying to be a little generous; if the Rockies get 18 outs from starting pitchers each game while giving up four runs or fewer, that at least leaves the offense within striking distance each day.

As I said before the Padres series last week, if the Rockies collective starters in this series throw fewer than 18 combined innings, forget about it.

KEY NUMBER

Four.

This key is more for the entire home stand than it is for the Diamondbacks series alone; the Rockies need to win four games of the six this week against Arizona and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Winning four games would put the Rockies back at 15-15 on the year, and it would at least assert them as a good home-field advantage team. Dropping three or more of the six would, well, that’d be bad. It’s not an exaggeration to say that in a weird way, the season hangs in the balance this series.

I don’t mean that as a stupid “hot take” about the Rockies needing to win the week or else the year is a disaster, but I do mean that after another brutal road trip, this club – that has lost 11 of their last 15 games – must show some signs of life at home this week. If they can’t do that, and if they drop four or five games on the home stand, this will tell you exactly what kind of team to expect the rest of the year.

Let’s Meet The Diamondbacks

We just saw the Diamondbacks a week ago, so you guys should know them well.

Josh Collmenter will start against the Rockies tonight, fresh off his dominant start last week where he went eight innings and stymied the Rockies’ bats in Phoenix. The other two starters this series – Robbie Ray and Rubby De La Rosa – haven’t seen the Rockies yet, and considering Ray’s youth and De La Rosa’s numbers, the Rockies may have an advantage this series.

I suppose we’ll see, though. The Rockies have lost 11 of 15, they are only 4-5 at home, and something has to give if this team wants to delay the inevitable. We’ll see you tonight.

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