May 5, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Eric Stults (53) throws during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
After earning series wins against Miami and Cincinnati, the Padres now have a chance to make up ground in the division against the second place Rockies. Tonight begins a 3-game series in Colorado and the Padres hope to kick it off with a victory.
Starting tonight for the Padres is Eric Stults (2-3, 5.03 ERA). His last time out he enjoyed arguably his best start of the season. For the second time this year he lasted 6 innings, allowing only 2 runs on a home run in the first inning of a 9-3 victory. Hopefully he’ll be able to build off his great outing, but the former Rockies’ hurler won’t be helped at all by the venue. Hitter-friendly Coors Field most likely will give Stults trouble. He owns a 5.34 ERA in 11 career appearances (5 starts) there.
Opposing him will be Jorge De La Rosa (4-3 4.81 ERA). Despite a slow start, De La Rosa has rebounded nicely and has pitched like the Rockies had expected. This will be his second start this year against the Padres. Even though he took a loss in that outing, he still pitched very well. In 6 innings he allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits in the 4-2 Padres’ win. The Padres hope to hit him a little bit better this time around.
Stults will have his hands full with the Rockies’ offense tonight. They lead the league in almost every offensive category including runs and OBP. It’ll be tough for the lefty to keep them at bay, especially in their home ballpark. They are 13-5 at Coors, so everyone will have to be in top form tonight.
Tonight’s lineup will be missing two big bats. The red-hot Seth Smith and Yasmani Grandal will both start out the night on the bench, but could find their way into the game later on. For Smith, the decision to sit him was likely due to the fact De La Rosa is a tough lefty and Maybin and Quentin are both .500 hitters against him. For Grandal it’s likely just a scheduled day off for him. His injury history plus the grind of playing catcher everyday forces him to sit out quite a bit.
Editors Dave Warren and Billy Brost will both be in attendance of the first two games of the series and will be bringing first-person takes and insights throughout the weekend. First pitch is 5:40 PDT.