Rockies Road

A three game series with the Colorado Rockies ends the current home stand and marks the second to last series at Chase Field for the 2006 season. When the schedules were announced last winter, Diamondbacks fans had to look at this series as a tune-up to a road trip that would determine the winner of the National League Western Division. The Rockies have struggled in past years and you fully expected them to struggle this season too so this would be a great series before heading out to San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. As the defending league champions you should have anticipated that the Padres would be involved in the race for the pennant and even as late as July you expected that the Diamondbacks would be battling right along with them with the division being decided in the final weekend series at Chase Field. But oh what a difference a couple of weeks make. The Diamondbacks still find themselves battling but this battle is with the Colorado Rockies to see who will end up in the cellar of the National League West.

Dropping series to the Washington Nationals both in Washington DC and also at Chase Field along with losing a series against the surprising Florida Marlins saw the team quickly fade. With only two weeks remaining in the month the Diamondbacks enter tonight’s game with a record of 5-8 in September and 68-76 for the whole season. The Diamondbacks hold a slim half game lead over the Rockies to retain fourth place in the division. They need to win this weekend series to leave for the road trip still in fourth.

The series match-up opener would definitely favor the Diamondbacks. Brandon Webb fresh off his last performance where he threw a complete game shut-out allowing only a single hit will face former Diamondback Byung-Hyun Kim who has gone from reliever to starter. When he was with the Diamondbacks Kim always touted his abilities as a starter but it was not until he went to Colorado that they converted him full time to that role. In Kim’s last game against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field he went 6 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 hits but did not figure into the decision. Since the all-star break Kim has a record of 2-5 with an ERA that is hovering around 5. The Diamondbacks hitters should be able to light up the Arizona sky if they are patient and wait for the right pitch.

Webb will be trying to strength his case as a Cy Young candidate as he attempts to win his sixteenth game of the season. Webb is currently in the top five of most major categories for pitchers and continues to dominate. With his sinker ball, he should also induce a few double plays. The Diamondbacks are one away from the franchise record and will be hoping to turn two and break that record at this evening’s game. Tonight also will mark the first game since news of Luis Gonzalez departure was announced so it should be interesting to see how the fans react during the final seven games at Chase Field. There are so many sub-plots and stories that the game itself may be lost. But one thing is for certain, it shouldn’t be boring.

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