Preview: Diamondbacks (65-68) at Rockies (53-78)
Venue: Coors Field
Date: September 02, 2015 8:40 PM EDT
For a series featuring two NL West teams which are out of playoff contention, there’s been some excitement between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies this season.
For lovers of offense, that is.
The clubs conclude the Coors Field portion of their 19-game series Wednesday night, and in the likely event of at least one of them scoring four runs, it’ll extend the longest active streak in the NL of games in which at least one team reaches that mark.
After Arizona won 5-3 in Colorado to take both ends of Tuesday’s doubleheader, there hasn’t been a game in which both teams scored under four runs in the last 20 meetings. Detroit and Cleveland lead baseball with 30 straight such games.
The last time the Diamondbacks (65-68) and Rockies (53-78) played in Colorado with both being held under four was the first meeting of 2013. They’ve since split 26 games with Arizona scoring 5.7 per game and batting .307 while Colorado has 6.0 and .299 marks.
Seventy home runs have been hit in those 26 contests, which doesn’t bode well for two inexperienced pitchers. Colorado’s Jon Gray will be making his sixth big league start, while Chase Anderson’s first full season in the majors has included plenty of off nights.
Gray (0-0, 6.00 ERA) has surprisingly made it through his last two starts without a loss. The right-hander got off to an impressive start with a 2.40 ERA and .185 opponent batting average in his first three starts after being called up Aug. 4, but he’s since lasted a total of six innings while allowing 10 runs and 15 hits.
The 23-year-old and third overall draft pick in 2013 gave up three runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings of Friday’s 5-3 loss in Pittsburgh, throwing a season-high 89 pitches.
Dealing with an innings ceiling of 30-35 with the big league club after throwing 114 1-3 for Triple-A Albuquerque, he was initially supposed to be held to 75 pitches per start. He’s at 21 innings after five starts, so he may only get one more after this.
“It’ll be very exciting, and I’m looking forward to it,” Gray said of losing the restrictions. “But right now I’m trying to throw as many zeros up as I can, fast.”
He hasn’t put up many at Coors, posting an 8.44 ERA and .362 opponent batting average in his first three starts before the home fans.
Anderson (6-5, 4.22) is 1-2 with an 8.62 ERA in three starts in Denver, including a 10-5 loss June 23 in which he allowed a career-high eight runs in 4 2-3 innings.
Prior to that game, the right-hander was 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA while enjoying a promising sophomore campaign. Including that contest, he’s 3-4 with a 6.22 since, though he’s been better lately with a win and 1.42 ERA in his last two.
Wilin Rosario (7 for 10 with a homer and two doubles), Charlie Blackmon (4 for 18 with two homers and a double) and Nolan Arenado (3 for 14 with two homers) have contributed to the damage against Anderson, but Carlos Gonzalez is 0 for 9 with six strikeouts.
Arenado hit his NL-leading 32nd homer Tuesday, while Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt reached 27. A.J. Pollock left the yard for the second time in the first three games of the series. Four of his 15 this season have come against Colorado.
“It’s probably an out in most parks,” Pollock said. “It definitely was a little bit helped from the Colorado air.”