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Rockies Vs. Phillies: Back In 1st Place, Colorado Heads East For Philadelphia

With first place in hand, the Colorado Rockies are in Philadelphia for a two-game series with the Phillies. Both teams hold slims leads in their divisions, one game for the Phillies and half a game for the Rockies. But the Rockies enter this series on a two-game winning streak, having swept the then NL West-leading San Francisco Giants in a mini two-game series. The Phillies, though, are on a four-game losing streak with losses to the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Phillies ran into solid pitching by Jaime Garcia and Jake Westbrook in the Cardinals' series, scoring just two runs. Will the Rockies run into strong Phillies pitching? In Wednesday's game, Cole Hamels will make just his second career regular season start against the Rockies, having allowed seven runs in 3.2 innings in a game at Coors Field in 2009. He is 0-2 at Citizens Bank Park in two postseason starts against the Rockies, though that doesn't mean much.

Hamels has improved his ground ball rate from the mid-40s to 50 percent while also raising his strikeout rate to 9.4 per nine innings. His 2.53 FIP and 2.52 xFIP demonstrate that his 3.19 ERA is hampered a bit by what happens in the field of play.

Jorge De La Rosa will look to pick up a National League-leading sixth win. De La Rosa struggled once he hit the the middle part of the game. He allowed five runs on nine hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. But he was helped by the run support the offense provided, 12 in total, eight during De La Rosa's time on the mound.

Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki both started to heat up during the series with the Giants, driving in key runs. Now they will need to carry that over and continue playing like everyone expects them to do.

Expected Pitching Matchups
Wednesday, 5:05 p.m. MT, ROOT/ESPN
Jorge De La Rosa vs. Cole Hamels

Thursday, 5;05 p.m. MT, ROOT
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Joe Blanton

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row. For Phillies coverage, The Good Phight and SB Nation Philly are your destinations.