Jul 3, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (2) hits a single during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
The Padres (39.49) head to Denver to play a 3-game series with the Rockies (37-52). These two teams have met twice so far this season with the Friars going 3-4. The last time the Padres went to Coors Field, they lost two out of three but did score 15 runs. The Rockies are coming off losing a 4-game series to the Dodgers. The Padres just lost their last series against the Giants but have won 5 out of their last 7.
In the first game of the series, Ian Kennedy (6-9, 3.87 ERA) will pitch against Tyler Matzek (1-2, 4.25 ERA). Kennedy, in 16 career starts against Colorado, has a 2.88 ERA lifetime with 93 strikeouts. The rookie Matzek, from Mission Viejo, CA, has impressed lately allowing 4 runs in 12.1 innings in his last 2 starts.
Game 2 features the lone Padre All-Star Tyson Ross (7-8, 2.93 ERA) against Franklin Morales (4-4, 5.51 ERA). Ross is fresh off of his dominant, complete game shutout against the Reds. He also struck out 9 in the process, putting his stamp on his All-Star bid. Morales has been somewhat of a spot starter this year. He has made 12 starts but has appeared in 21 games. He has a 5.81 ERA as a starter.
In the finale, Eric Stults (3-11, 4.96 ERA) will take the mound against new Rockies and former Braves prospect Jair Jurrjens (0-1, 15.43 ERA). Stults is coming off of a strong start where he pitched 7 shutout innings while striking out 6. Jurrjens has 6 starts against the Padres, with a 4-1 record and 3.23 ERA.
The Rockies have been riddled with injuries lately. They will be without Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer on the offensive side. The rotation has been hit hard as well with both Jhoulys Chacin and Jordan Lyles on the DL.
Troy Tulowitzki has been named an All-Star starter, which is well deserving. He is hitting a league-leading .350, with 18 HRs and 47 RBI. Charlie Blackmon will also be a tough out in the Rockies lineup. He is hitting .291 with 12 HRs as he was also named an All-Star.
It seems as if a few Padres are starting to climb out of season-long funks, and this needs to continue if the Padres want to win a road series at Coors Field. The Padres must match the Rockies punch-for-punch offensively to win this series. The Friars also have an advantage because the Rockies have been bitten by the injury bug. This is the perfect opportunity for the Padres to distance themselves from the bottom feeders of the NL West.