Colorado Rockies: Previewing Series versus Rays
The Colorado Rockies begin a three-game inter-league set tonight versus the Tampa Bay Rays at Coors Field, part of an important seven-game homestand.
The Rays are at 35-56, and a massive 18.5 games out of first place in the American League East. Their road record sits at 16-26, and over their last 10 games they have gone 2-8. In other words, the Colorado Rockies have a massive opportunity over the next three games to earn a sweep and get this homestand off right.
The Rockies went 2-1 in Atlanta, where two crucial late double plays doomed them to failing to achieve the sweep (which would have been the first in Atlanta since 1997).
Coors Field, which was once a fortress for the Rockies, has become more a home of horrors in 2016 with a losing record of 20-22. The Rockies have had trouble this season in beating the bad teams at home.
This must end tonight and through this series.
The Rays starter tonight is Drew Smyly, who already has 10 losses on the year (against just two wins) and an ERA of 5.47. Smyly’s ERA is the second-worst in the AL and he has allowed 20 home runs which is tied for fourth-worst in the league.
The Rockies simply have to beat up on this guy tonight. If they cannot score a minimum of five runs off him and get him out of the game by the fifth inning, they have let a major opportunity slip through their fingers once again.
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The Rockies will reunite with old friend Corey Dickerson, the former Rockie from 2014-15. Dickerson, who hit an even .300 whilst with the Rockies, has seen his average plummet to just .223 whilst with the Rays. The Rockies, of course, got Jake McGee back in return, the man with the awful 0-3 record and 6.04 ERA.
Makes you wonder just who won this trade…
Per Sam Blum of MLB.com, Smyly has allowed six or more runs in his last three starts and is 0-6 over his last nine starts.
The only thing in his favor is he has not faced the Rockies before, so it will likely take a run or two through the order for the Rockies hitters to make the adjustments against him.
The Rockies counter with lefty Tyler Anderson, who is 1-3 with a starter’s best 3.03 ERA. Anderson is coming off his first win and first career home run against the Philadelphia Phillies. He, of course, has not faced the Rays in his career so he also has the same advantage as Smyly.
The Rockies need to get going quickly tonight and get this series off on the right foot. To have any hope for a Wild Card run (they currently sit seven games back), they must take advantage of these bad teams and score some consecutive wins together.
The Rockies have become experts at winning one or two games in a row (and look fantastic in the process), only to stink it up the next 2-3 games and lose all the momentum they have gained just as fast.
This repetitive streak is not good enough anymore. If you can’t beat up a team which is 21 games under .500, what hope have you got against your fellow Wild Card hopefuls?
Next: Purple Monday: Colorado Rockies Second-Half Predictions
All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and MLB.com unless otherwise indicated.