Phillies look to reverse disastrous trends at Coors Field

Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez #21 of the Philadelphia Philies (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Starting pitcher Vince Velasquez #21 of the Philadelphia Philies (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Following a walkoff victory on Wednesday afternoon — thanks to heroics from right fielder Bryce Harper and catcher Andrew Knapp — the Philadelphia Phillies are set to begin a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field this weekend.

The Phillies enter the series with a 9-9 record, after dropping two of three games against their former manager Gabe Kapler and the San Francisco Giants earlier this week at Citizens Bank Park.

Phillies Offense Looks to Break Out

The Phillies offense has begun to rebound from its early-season slump. They followed up a lackluster shutout loss on Monday with seven runs on Tuesday and six on Wednesday to finish the Giants series.

Harper remains red hot — hitting .357 with a 1.118 OPS. However, the Phillies lineup depth will be tested in the coming weeks. Second baseman Jean Segura was recently placed on the injured list and manager Joe Girardi will still be expecting more production from Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm.

The Phillies anticipate shortstop Didi Gregorius to return after missing three games. Both Nick Maton and Brad Miller, meanwhile, hope to continue their contributions off the bench in the wake of recent injuries.

Looking to Reverse the Curse at Coors Field

The Phillies have been downright terrible in Colorado in recent seasons. They have not won a series at Coors Field since 2012 and are 2-9 in their last 11 games in the most hitter-friendly park in Major League Baseball.

In 2018 and 2019, Phillies pitchers allowed 58 runs in eight games in Colorado. They are 5-1 against the Rockies at Citizens Bank Park in the same span — with only 24 runs allowed in the six home games. The Phillies did not play the Rockies last season.

The disastrous statistics ironically come at the site of one of the most overlooked moments in Phillies postseason history.

Phillies Pitching Probables

Vince Velasquez is slated to make his first start of the 2021 season on Friday. The Phillies tendered him a contract during the offseason — before the addition of Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations. Velasquez has struggled in three relief appearances this season.

Staff ace Aaron Nola will take the hill on Saturday. He earned a series victory for the Phillies against the Cardinals last Sunday with the first nine-inning complete-game shutout of his career. His ERA now sits at 2.19 on the season.

The Phils will start Chase Anderson on Sunday afternoon. The team’s No. 5 starter is 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA in his first season in red pinstripes.

Scouting the Rockies

The Colorado Rockies own the worst record in the majors entering Friday at 6-12. They are not expected to be competitors in the top-heavy National League West. However, they have already had to face the powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers seven times, going 1-6. They also completed a two-game sweep of the Houston Astros, amid snow showers.

Veteran outfielder Charlie Blackmon is a career .300 hitter in an early-season slump. He is currently hitting below the Mendoza line at .176. Shortstop Trevor Story also brings a viable major league track record. He hit 37 homers in 2018 and followed up with 35 in 2019.

The Rockies will start German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela, and Jon Gray on the mound in the respective three games.

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