Rockies Part 13

The Arizona Diamondbacks don’t play the Colorado Rockies every week; it just seems that way. This home stand starts with a three game series against the Rockies. Like the Arizona Diamondbacks the Rockies are made up of a core of really good young position players who have had a good run in the second half of the season. Tonight’s game marks the 13th regular season game these two teams will play this year. They will have two more at Chase Field after tonight and then the Diamondbacks will travel to Denver the last weekend of the regular season to end the year the way they began with a three game series at Coors Field. Besides the 13 meetings they have had during the regular season the two teams also met for 4 games in Spring Training meaning that they are very familiar with each other. So after this many contests, is there anything that they haven’t seen before?

That is an interesting proposition. During Cactus League competition the Diamondbacks were careful not to have their starters face the Rockies too many times as they wanted the element of surprise when the regular season started. After 12 games that element is pretty much used up. There are some things that are different. The Rockies no longer have Byung-Hyun Kim in their starting rotation and neither do the Diamondbacks. A fact that I am sure both teams are grateful to have. The pitching match-ups for this series look very intriguing. Tonight’s game sees the Diamondbacks bring back Livan Hernandez on 3 days of rest to face Ubaldo Jimenez. Hernandez is pitching as a result of the struggles from the Diamondbacks fifth starter. Given Hernandez tendencies short rest should not be a problem for the big guy. Hopefully he will be as dominating at home against the Rockies as he was in San Diego against the Padres. With the exception of a walk and home run in the eighth inning of his last start he had pretty much matched Jake Peavy pitch for pitch. Jimenez is a relative new comer to the Rockies rotation with this being his 8th start of the season.

Saturday marks the first of September when rosters expand to 40-man. The Diamondbacks will take advantage of that by bringing up Dana Eveland from Tucson to start against former Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Elmer Dessens. It’s always interesting when players face their former team. There just seems to be a little extra adrenaline flowing when that happens. Eveland is taking over the fifth starter position from Petit who has struggled as of late. With the number of off days that the Diamondbacks have in September they will need a fifth starter only twice more this season which should help with their play-off run.

The series finale features Josh Fogg for the Rockies against Brandon Webb. Webb’s last start in San Diego was not his best effort and he struggled with his command. Hopefully with the home town crowd behind him he can turn it around and move closer to possibly winning his second Cy Young award. With the Rockies 6 games behind the Diamondbacks in the standings for the National League West and 5 games behind the Padres in the Wild Card chase this series has huge implications for Colorado. Likewise with the Diamondbacks coming off a 1-3 road trip that saw their lead dwindle to a single game over the Padres they will look to re-establish their winning ways before the Padres come to town next week. So while these two teams may feel as though they know each other like a married couple; there is enough intrigue to keep it interesting at least through the weekend.

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