Colorado Rockies series preview vs. the Miami Marlins
The Rockies enter the second and final leg of their five-game road trip after splitting their two game series against the reigning American League champion Cleveland Indians by heading down south to face the Miami Marlins in a three-game set.
The Rockies will head into Miami to face them for the first time this season. However, this will not be the first time that they have played in Marlins Park this season as Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, Greg Holland, DJ LeMahieu, and Pat Neshek (then of the Philadelphia Phillies) took part in the All-Star Game festivities. Here are some things to look at before the series starts.
Friday’s probable starters
For Friday’s match up, the Rockies will be facing 25-year-old Jose Urena. You probably haven’t heard of him before but he has actually been the Marlins best and most consistent starter this season.
He is 10-5 with a 3.70 ERA in 24 games (18 of which have been starts). He has 114 1/3 innings pitched and he has a WHIP of 1.19. Urena can be a bit wild, though, as he walks a bit more than three per nine innings (which isn’t bad) but he leads the National League in hit batters at 11. He doesn’t, however, strike out many as he averages just 6.2 per nine innings and he does give up his fair share of home runs (1.2 per nine innings).
In his past two starts (against the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves), he is 1-1 with a 1.29 ERA. He has pitched 14 innings and allowed six hits, two runs (all earned) with two walks and nine strikeouts. His opponents have had a batting average of .130, a .167 on-base percentage, and a .192 slugging percentage.
He will be opposing Rockies starter Jon Gray. He is 4-2 with a 4.94 ERA in 10 starts. In his past two starts (against the Nationals and Phillies), he is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA. He has gone seven innings in each start (14 total) and 10 hits with four runs, two walks, and 12 strikeouts. Opponents have had a batting average of .196, an on-base percentage .226, and a .392 slugging percentage.
On Saturday, the Marlins have not announced their starter but the Rockies have Jeff Hoffman scheduled to start. Hoffman was roughed up in July (he had an ERA of 8.00) but in his two starts in August, he doesn’t have a decision but he has pitched 13 innings and he has an ERA of 2.08 with an opponent’s batting average of .196.
On Sunday, the Rockies will be facing Vance Worley. He is 2-2 with a 4.82 ERA in 15 games (seven have been starts). However, in his past two starts, he has logged 13 innings while only giving up eight hits and one run with an opponent’s batting average of .186.
He will be opposing German Marquez. He is 9-4 with a 3.88 ERA in 19 starts. In his seven starts since the beginning of July, he is 4-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a .216 opponent’s batting average. In his past six starts, he has gone at least six innings and in all of his starts since July, he has allowed three runs or less.
Giancarlo Stanton and the rest of the Marlins offense
In his past seven games, Giancarlo Stanton has hit .308 with six home runs and 11 RBI. On the season, he has 39 home runs (which leads both the National League and all of baseball) and 85 RBI.
The rest of the Marlins offense has not been hot, though, as, since August 1, the team is hitting .226 with a .291 on-base percentage.
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The Marlins bullpen
The Marlins had a good bullpen but most of their good relievers have either been traded (AJ Ramos and David Phelps) or on the disabled list (Kyle Barraclough). As a result, the Marlins bullpen has struggled in the month of August as they have an ERA of 4.71 and an opponent’s batting average of .272. If the Rockies can tap into the bullpen early or in a close game, the Rockies could take advantage of their weakness.
Next: Charlie Blackmon's impressive stats in his past 162 games
To win two or all of three games in this series, though, the Rockies starters and offense will need to continue their recent success. Also, not having runners on base for Giancarlo Stanton will be a huge thing. With the way he has been lately, it will be tough to prevent giving up a home run or two to him but if he doesn’t have anybody else on base, the Rockies can limit that damage. Offensively, the Rockies need to be patient enough to work the count and get the starters pitch counts high early. The Marlins bullpen will be exposed as a result and the Rockies need to take advantage of it.
The Rockies and Marlins are sure to have an interesting series this weekend. It will also lead up to the Rockies return home on Monday, which is sure to be a night to remember as Chad Bettis will make his long awaited return to the Rockies after being out for all season due to testicular cancer, chemotherapy, and treatment.