Colorado Rockies: Previewing the Road Series in Washington
By Kevin Henry
The last time the Colorado Rockies and the Washington Nationals squared off, the Rockies were looking to gain some momentum after being swept in a three-game road series. Unfortunately for Colorado, history looks like it has repeated itself.
Heading into the nation’s capital for a three-game weekend series, Colorado (60-67) will be looking to right the ship after losing three straight in Milwaukee to start the six-game road trip. It’s a similar tale to the last time the two teams met at Coors Field, with the Rockies coming into the series after a horrid showing in Philadelphia. The Rockies responded in fine fashion, taking two of three games from the National League East-leading Nationals.
One thing the Rockies will have this series that they didn’t the last time the two teams met is pitcher Jeff Hoffman. The heralded rookie made his Major League Baseball debut on Saturday against the Chicago Cubs. As I wrote after his start, the box score didn’t tell the entire story of Hoffman’s debut. He comes into Friday’s start with a 13.50 ERA.
He’ll be opposed by Washington’s Gio Gonzalez, who is 8-9 with a 4.30 ERA this season. He only pitched three innings in his August 16 start. However, one of the frames altered things for the Rockies over the next few games as Gonzalez and Colorado leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon collided at first base. The collision would result in a toe contusion that forced Blackmon out of the starting lineup for the entire Cubs series and the opener against Milwaukee.
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On Saturday, Jorge De La Rosa (8-7, 5.07 ERA) will take the mound against Washington’s A.J. Cole (0-1, 5.14 ERA). On Sunday, Chad Bettis (10-7, 5.29) will try to rebound from a rough start against the Brewers. Washington hasn’t named its starter for Sunday’s contest.
Colorado player to watch
Colorado’s Nolan Arenado is 10-for-24 (.417) over his last six games, with four homers and 11 RBI. It’s safe to say that Arenado is back on a hot streak. However, the Rockies have been unable to capitalize on their All-Star third baseman’s run at the plate, dropping four of those six games.
Washington player to watch
Shortstop Trea Turner has hits in 14 of his last 31 plate appearances, good enough for a .452 clip.
Next: David Dahl Showing Versatility for Colorado
Colorado has lost seven of its eight road games in August. We predict the team’s recent road woes will continue as the Nationals will take two of three games.