The suddenly Fightin’ Phils ride a 5-game winning streak into Denver to take on the struggling Colorado Rockies in a 4-game set at Coors Field. Colorado earned a series split with the LA Dodgers this weekend after losing 11 in a row. They currently sit in fifth place in the NL West, a distant 9.5 games behind those Dodgers.
Adding to their troubles, the Rockies offense has been plagued with injuries over the past couple of days. Their veteran 1st baseman, Justin Morneau, has been placed on the 7-day concussion DL with those symptoms. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has been day-to-day after leaving Friday’s game with tightness in his left-quad. Tulo has not been in the lineup since, but the Rockies do not think he’ll go on the DL. Rockies Manager Walt Weiss commented, “I don’t think it’s anything major, and he was actually a lot more positive than I expected it to be.”
The Rockies remaining offensive attack is headed by 2nd baseman DJ LeMahieu (.318/.375/.400, 1 HR, 16 RBI, 2 SB), outfielder Corey Dickerson (.312/.348/.532, 5 HR, 16 RBI), and catcher Nick Hundley (.308/.347/.451, 2 HR, 9 RBI).
The suddenly rolling Phillies offense continues to be led by Freddy Galvis (.347/.314/.403, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 4 SB), Odubel Herrera (.265/.291/.375, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 6 SB), and Ben Revere (.255/.295/.345, 12 RBI, 7 SB). Grady Sizemore is another name worth mentioning. Sizemore has hit .400 over his last 10 games, raising his average to .264 on the season.
This series will take place at Coors, widely believed to be the best hitters’ park in baseball. With the mile-high elevation and low air density in Denver, baseballs tend to soar out of this ballpark. Coors Field has very large dimensions: 347, 415, and 350 feet to left, right, and centerfield. By comparison, Citizens Bank Park runs 329, 401, and 330 feet to those points. Coors’ large outfield ground also can be trouble for fielders because they need to cover an excessive amount of ground.
Cole Hamels (3-3, 3.53 ERA) v. Jordan Lyles (2-3, 4.30 ERA) – Hamels has been on fire and had a very nice performance (7 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 9 SO) against the Pirates. As the Phillies ace continues to get back on track, he becomes more and more a candidate to be traded. He will attempt to continue his roll and boost his trade value this evening. His opponent Lyles, underperforming a bit this season, only went one inning in his last start after getting hit in the hand on a come-backer. He hopes to get on the right track and prove he is healthy in this start.
Aaron Harang (4-3, 2.03 ERA) v. Chad Bettis (0-0, 7.20 ERA) – Harang simply cannot stop churning out quality starts. He had one of his best last week (8 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 SO) and hopes to keep his top-notch season going. He’ll match up against Bettis, who was just recalled from Triple-A to make his first start of the season (5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO). Bettis is certainly looking to limit his walks and go deeper into this next start.
TBD v. Eddie Butler (2-4, 4.24 ERA)- Chad Billingsley hit the DL with a right shoulder strain yesterday, leaving a vacancy in the Phillies’ rotation. Severino Gonzalez is the leading candidate to fill his spot, because David Buchanan is now also injured. Whoever starts will compete against Butler, who is not putting up great starts and that showed again in his last outing (2.2 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 1 SO) against the Dodgers. Butler probably just hopes he can last a little longer in this coming start.
Jerome Williams (3-3, 5.02 ERA) v. Jorge de la Rosa – Williams has been about as expected for the Phillies lately. He is putting together decent starts, but not exactly getting deep into games. Considering that his performance was split by a rain delay two nights ago, his last start was not bad (5 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 4 SO). For the Rox, Jorge de La Rosa’s (1-2, 6.56 ERA) spot is up in the rotation, but he is questionable to go with a tweaked groin.
Starting Pitching: The Phillies have both Hamels and Harang going 1-2 in this series. If they both pitch to the levels that they’ve been these past couple starts, they stand a good chance to win the first two games. Doing so would put them in a very good place to win the series with two tight match-ups following those games.
Keep the Streak Going: In a game of streaks, highs and lows, the Phillies need to keep battling and run out this hot stretch of baseball as long as they can. Right now, the offense is clicking, the pitching is pretty strong and everyone is feeling positive about the place they are in. The Phils have to ride their new-found hot offense to another series while they have the chance.
Game 1- Monday, 8:40 PM, TV: CSN, Radio: 1210FM, 94AM, 1480AM (Spanish Language)
Game 2- Tuesday, 8:40 PM, TV: CSN, Radio: 1210FM, 94AM, 1480AM (Spanish Language)
Game 3- Wednesday, 8:40 PM, TV: CSN, Radio: 1210FM, 94AM, 1480AM (Spanish Language)
Game 4- Thursday, 3:10 PM, TV: CSN, Radio: 1210FM, 94AM, 1480AM (Spanish Language)
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE forecast for Coors Field in Denver
A 30 percent chance of showers, mainly after 5pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. Northeast wind around 8 mph.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 10pm. Low around 45. East wind 6 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
Showers and possibly a thunderstorm, mainly before 5pm, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 5pm. High near 48. East southeast wind 8 to 10 mph becoming northeast in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 16 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%.
A chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight, then a slight chance of showers. Cloudy, with a low around 38. North northeast wind 5 to 9 mph becoming light and variable. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
A slight chance of showers, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 56. South wind 5 to 8 mph becoming northeast in the morning. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 41.
A 20 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms after noon. Partly sunny, with a high near 62.
|Brown, Brooks (P)||05/17||15-day DL||May||Right shoulder inflammation||Sent on Triple-A rehab assignment May 15.|
|Chatwood, Tyler (P)||04/05||60-day DL||Possibly 2015||Recovering from July 2014 Tommy John surgery||Placed on 60-day DL on March 1.|
|Culberson, Charlie (3B)||04/26||60-day DL||TBD||Lumbar disc injury||Transferred to 60-day DL on April 12.|
|De La Rosa, Jorge (P)||05/17||Any day||Day-to-day||Left groin strain||Exited game early May 16; jogged, stretched May 17.|
|Dickerson, Corey (LF)||05/17||Any day||Day-to-day||Plantar fasciitis in left foot||Not in starting lineup, pinch-hit May 17; could land on disabled list as of May 17 update.|
|Hawkins, LaTroy (P)||04/28||15-day DL||TBD||Right biceps tendinitis||Placed on 15-day DL on April 22.|
|Lyles, Jordan (P)||05/16||Any day||Possibly May 18||Right hand contusion||Exited game early, X-rays were negative on May 13; threw bullpen session May 16.|
|Morneau, Justin (1B)||05/16||7-day DL||TBD||Cervical strain and concussion symptoms||Placed on 7-day DL on May 16 retroactive to May 15.|
|Ottavino, Adam (P)||05/07||Out for Season||2016||Recovering from May 2015 Tommy John surgery||Underwent Tommy John surgery May 7.|
|Tulowitzki, Troy (SS)||05/17||Any day||Day-to-day||Left quadriceps tightness||Exited game early May 15; not in starting lineup May 16-17; did agility drills May 17.|
|Hollands, Mario (P)||04/20||Out for Season||2016||Recovering from April 2015 Tommy John surgery||Underwent Tommy John surgery April 8.|
|Lee, Cliff (P)||04/05||60-day DL||Possibly 2015||Left common flexor tendon tear||Shut down from throwing, placed on 60-day DL on March 16.|
|Pettibone, Jonathan (P)||05/09||60-day DL||TBD||Recovering from June 2014 right elbow surgery||Transferred to 60-day DL on April 28.|