The Colorado Rockies enter this weekend's series with the St. Louis Cardinals badly in need of a win. They've fallen to third place in the NL West, behind the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Snakes just won three straight games against the Rockies in a four-game series.
But it's a bit worse than losing three straight. The Rockies are losers in six of their last seven games and they lost Jorge De La Rosa for the season with a torn UCL. Double-A pitcher Juan Nicasio will fill in for De La Rosa temporarily and make his major league debut on Saturday,
But the roster changes haven't stopped there. Felipe Paulino is gone and Bruce Billing is up (though Rex Brothers is likely only a few weeks away if not sooner). Jose Lopez was designated for assignment, leading to a call-up of Eric Young Jr., who is hitting .363 for the season with the Triple-A Colorado Springs Sky Sox. The changes aren't done yet.
And so on Friday night Ubaldo Jimenez, still winless, takes the mound. Now more than ever is the time for the 2010 Ubaldo to show up. We've seen glimpses of it over his last two starts, though both times he picked up a no-decision. In his May 17 start, Jimenez held the Giants to three runs over seven innings and struck out seven. On May 22, he picked up an eight-inning complete game but fell to 0-4. While Jimenez gave up three runs on two hits, the Rockies could only put one on the board. Jimenez didn't have great sense of the strike zone, walking five and striking out four.
The Cards counter with Jake Westbrook, former first-round draft pick by the Rockies. He's been impressive over his last two starts as well. He's been able to pick up the win in both contests (3-1, 3-0), holding his opponents to one run in eight hits over 15 innings. This will be his first start in Coors Field, and he's thrown a total of 15.2 innings against the Rockies in his career. His small sample size ERA is 1.15.
First pitch is expected for 6:40 p.m. MT. Tune into ROOT for game action.
Expected Pitching Matchups:
Saturday, 5:10 p.m. MT, KDVR-31
Jaime Garcia vs. Juan Nicasio
Sunday, 1:10 p.m. MT, ROOT
Kyle Lohse vs. Jhoulys Chacin