Series Preview: San Diego Padres vs Colorado Rockies

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Aug 5, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher M. McKenry (center) celebrates with teammates after hitting a walk off home run in the eleventh inning against the Seattle Mariners at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the Mariners 7-5. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


Home cookin’ against a cold team

The Rockies don’t have anything to play for this year, but lately, neither do the Padres. The Friars are 3-7 in their last ten games, and now 10.5 games out of first place in the National League West.

It’ll take a miracle for them to get back in any race, so the Padres are obviously going to come in to Denver relatively flat (you’d hope…). Let’s see if the Rockies can take advantage of that, immediately after struggling with road series in Washington and New York against two teams that are really playing for something.

Flande Day?

Yohan Flande’s had some nice starts out on the road as a fill-in member of the rotation (Chicago, St. Louis, Washington). How will his stuff match up back at Coors Field as a starter on Friday night, especially when opposing the very best of the three Padres’ starters the Rockies will see this weekend?

Flande is the classic bend-but-don’t-break pitcher; if he goes five innings and gives up a pair of runs (which is what he’s been doing lately), that’s really all you can ask of a guy who ought to be better served as the Rockies’ long man. If he can keep the Rockies in the game Friday night and give the offense a chance to win late, it could set the tone for the entire series (as could a terrible start).

The Padres don’t hit

This isn’t rocket science, and it’s been true for a few years. The Padres are hitting .239/.295/.372, which is one of the worst marks in the National League (bested only by the New York Mets, who have an insane starting rotation).

The Rockies, on the other hand, are the second-best hitting team in the National League (behind the Giants), at .269/.320/.437, so you’d hope that the Rox can get things going on offense and run away with a game (or two? Or three?), especially against Cashner and Kennedy on Saturday and Sunday, who have struggled at times.

Gray and Rusin for the future!

While Yohan Flande likely isn’t pitching for a 2016 rotation spot — though he’s certainly auditioning well for a long reliever role — Jon Gray and Chris Rusin are absolutely auditioning for 2016 roles right now.

Judging by Rusin’s entire body of work, and Gray’s stuff, last start, and prospect status, you’d have to believe each has a good shot at a rotation spot (though, so do Jorge De La Rosa, Chad Bettis, Tyler Chatwood, Eddie Butler, Jordan Lyles, and any free agents the Rockies may acquire).

Down the stretch, especially for Cubs’ cast-off Rusin, every start will be important if only to determine whether he’ll have a spot in 2016’s rotation, or at least an inside shot at earning one come Spring Training. And considering the way he’s thrown so far this year, I wouldn’t mind Rusin as a fifth starter.

Next: Let's Meet The San Diego Padres