The Colorado Rockies remain in first place in the NL West, though they recently dropped two of three to the Pittsburgh Pirates at home. But now the Rockies head south to Arizona for a three-game road series with the Diamondbacks. The Rockies have a 10-3 road record, which does bode well for this series.
The Rockies last saw the Diamondbacks one month ago when the two opened the 2011 season at Coors Field. They were only able to get the first two games in, weather postponing the third game of the split series. Tuesday's starter, Jorge De La Rosa, pitched in the second game of the series and moved along quite well for 5.1 innings (5 K, 3 H) before a blister on his middle finger forced an early exit.
Since that Opening Weekend series, the teams have gone in the opposite directions. De La Rosa and Jhoulys Chacin have been the Rockies' top pitchers with Ubaldo Jimenez still not in his regular form. De La Rosa has picked up four wins in five starts and has a 2.61 ERA, a 2.58 FIP and a 0.968 WHIP. While his ground ball rate is at 43.2 percent, De La Rosa has lowered his walk rate to 2.9 walks per nine innings and, surprisingly, he has kept the ball inside the park extremely well (one homer in 31 innings).
Chacin has also pitched well, being the hard-luck loser in his last start (7 IP, 8 K, 3 R in a 3-0 loss). He's given up four home runs over his last two starts, but zero in his the 22 innings before that. He's also been helped immensely by a 60.4 percent ground ball rate. Except for his last start, Chacin has recorded at least 10 ground ball outs.
The Diamondbacks' pitchers are a mixed bag. Joe Saunders has a 5.93 ERA and a 5.09 FIP in five starts and has been hurt by allowing line drive 24 percent of the time. Barry Enright has been hurt by striking out too few and walking more than necessary. He's also given up six home runs in 29.2 innings.
Expected pitching matchups:
Tuesday, May 3, 7:40 p.m. MT, ROOT
Jorge De La Rosa vs. Joe Saunders
Wednesday, May 4, 7:40 p.m., ROOT
Jhoulys Chacin vs. Barry Enright
Thursday, May 5, 7:40 p.m. MT, ROOT
Jason Hammel vs. Armando Galarraga