Colorado Rockies Open Critical Six-Game Road Swing in LA
The Colorado Rockies are catching a break as they begin a six-game California road trip on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to pitch the opener of the series but was scratched after being placed on the disabled list with a lower back injury. In his place, Bud Norris, just acquired from the Atlanta Braves, will make his Dodgers debut against the Rockies.
The 31-year-old right-hander was a 4.22 ERA this season and is coming off a win against the New York Mets where he pitched seven scoreless innings. He faced the Rockies five times last season as a reliever for the San Diego Padres and didn’t allow an earned run in four innings.
Jorge De La Rosa gets the start for the Rockies on Friday night in what will be his 10th start of the season. In his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 25, he earned his fourth consecutive victory by allowing one run and six hits in six innings. It continued quite a June for the Colorado veteran, who finished the month with a 4-0 record and 1.96 ERA.
De La Rosa’s time in the bullpen (as well as his usual tendency to get better as the year goes along) kicked in in June at a time when the Rockies needed it the most. He seems to have quieted some of the critics after posting a 10.18 ERA in April and 11.81 ERA in May.
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All three of his starts since rejoining the rotation on June 14 have been quality starts. Can he keep that going in Chavez Ravine on Friday night, where he has a 2-6 record and 3.90 ERA in his career?
Three things we will be watching for tonight…
Will DJ LeMahieu and/or Trevor Story be back in the Colorado lineup after being injured in Sunday’s game against Arizona?
Both were greatly missed in the Toronto series as the Rockies battled with a short bench throughout the three-game encounter at Coors Field.
Will Jason Motte get his groove back?
The Rockies reliever has been scored upon in his last four outings as his ERA has climbed from 1.80 to 3.55. Additionally, he’s given up homers in three of his last four appearances.
Next: Why the .500 Mark is Important for Colorado
Will this be the beginning of a run for the Rockies?
Including tonight, there are 10 games left before the All-Star break. Can the Rockies put together a string of solid outings to get to the .500 mark and gain some momentum heading into the break? Having an off day yesterday after a grueling turnaround against the Blue Jays on Wednesday couldn’t have come at a better time.
Wins in Los Angeles and San Francisco would also help the Colorado Rockies in the wild card standings, where they sit four games behind the Miami Marlins heading into Friday’s action.