The Colorado Rockies open up a three-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies starting tonight (Friday). So it’s only right that we here at Rox Pile highlight the three players to watch for in the series. If you are looking for a series preview, make sure to follow the link.
Apr 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) hits an RBI single during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
1. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies.
Last time the Colorado Rockies squared off against the Philadelphia Phillies, Arenado was in a hefty slump. The 24-year-old native of Newport Beach, CA was batting .270 and looking for answers. Since that series, which ended on May 21, Arenado has gone 11-for-27 — good for a .407 average over the span. Not to mention, Arenado has belted three home runs over Colorado’s last four games, while driving in 13 runs over that span.
Arenado has raised his average to .287 since Colorado’s last encounter with Philadelphia, slashing at a line of .287/.331/.549 with 11 doubles, 10 home runs and 31 RBI’s for the season.
May 17, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard (6) hits a pinch hit single during the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies won 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
2. Ryan Howard, 1B, Phillies.
Howard, 35, hasn’t been his prototypical self over the past few seasons due to injury, but he can still swing it. So far this season, Howard is slashing at a line of .256/.298/.519 with 10 doubles, 10 home runs and 24 RBI’s. I’m not mentioning Howard because of his name or star power, but due to the fact that he always seems to kill the Rockies.
In the three game set against the Rockies last week, Howard hit .353/.353/.765, going 6-for-17 as Philadelphia dropped two of three from Colorado. Three of his six hits were for extra bases — one double and two home runs, accounting for six RBI’s. Colorado will need to make sure not to make the big mistake to Howard or he will make them pay.
May 14, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis (35) throws the ball in the second inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
3. Chad Bettis, RHP, Rockies.
Bettis, 26, has dealt with his fair share of adversity, getting sent back-and-fourth between the Minors and Majors the past couple of seasons. In his last start against the defending champion San Francisco Giants, he was lights out until the final inning. Bettis finished the game going 8.1 innings, yielding two runs (all in the ninth) on six hits, walking two and striking out eight.
The question will be, will Bettis build off his last start? In his three starts this season, he has pitched fairly well — good enough to keep Colorado in the game. In his prior two starts, Bettis logged nine innings, giving up seven runs on 15 hits, walking four and striking out eight.
- Bettis’ current line: 1-0, 4.19 ERA, 15 K’s, 1.40 WHIP.
- Colorado: Michael McKenry, Troy Tulowitzki.
- Philadelphia: Cody Asche, Cole Hamels.
As mentioned in the introduction, the Rockies open up a three-game set against the Phillies tonight at Citizens Bank Park. Chad Bettis (1-0, 4.19 ERA) takes the hill for the Rockies as Philadelphia counters with southpaw Cole Hamels (5-3, 2.98 ERA). First-pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM EST, 5:05 PM MST.