Friday at 1:10 PM PST the San Diego Padres (0-3) venture to Coors Field to face the Colorado Rockies (2-1) in a NL West divisional showdown. Both teams come into the series with record setting performances in the books recently, albeit on opposite ends of the offensive spectrum: The Padres were shutout in their opening series against the Dodgers, managing just 11 hits in the three game set while the Rockies and their young shortstop Trevor Story are the hit of baseball as Story accounted for 4 of the Rockies MLB leading 10 home runs in their opening series against the Diamondbacks.
Game one looks to pit Colin Rea, who got in his side work on Monday by pitching an inning against the Dodgers in the historic opening day loss, against 25 year old Jordan Lyles. Lyles pitched to a 5.14 ERA in 2015 and managed just three quality starts out of his 10 starts for the Rockies.
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Game two on Saturday, under the lights at 5:10 PST, looks to match Drew Pomeranz in his regular season debut for the Padres, and a return to a field Pomeranz called home from 2011-2013. Over this stretch Pomeranz pitched to a 4.40 ERA in Coors Field over 75 2/3 IP. This was a good deal of time ago though and Pomeranz has matured as a pitcher since then, posting vastly improved K/9 numbers, 8.58 in 2015 with the A’s as opposed to 6.38 K/9 in 2011 with the Rockies, and lowering his batting average against from .294 in 2013 to .220 in 2015. Opposing Pomeranz will be Jorge De La Rosa who Matt Kemp and Derek Norris appear to hit very well, touching him for a .481 and .600 batting average over the last 5 years, respectively. De La Rosa closed out 2015, his 12th year in the big leagues, with a more than respectable (for a Rockies pitcher) 4.17 ERA and a 9-7 record.
The series closes out on Sunday at 1:10 PST with staff ace Tyson Ross facing likely opponent Chad Bettis, who gave up 5 earned runs in his first start of the season on Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. Ross took a tough loss against the Dodgers in the home opener as he was pitching well until the wheels came off the bus in the 6th inning when 5 Dodgers came around to score in the frame.
For the Rockies the opening series saw them stay in Arizona for a few more days and play the Diamondbacks in the BOB Chase Field. Trevor Story was the story there as he opened his major league career with all four of his hits leaving the yard, driving in 7 in the process. He became the first rookie to hit home runs in his first three games in MLB history. Story showed power potential in the minors as he hit 20 homers through two levels of play in 2015, however it was tempered by a 24.5% strikeout rate. To put it in comparison in 2015 Justin Upton had a 25.6% K rate with 26 HRs.
Matt Kemp in 2015 hit .241 on the road with 10 HR and 39 RBI. However, in 10 games at Coors Field Kemp went 14 for 44 (.318) with 2 home runs and 11 RBI. Hopefully this combination can help the Padres rebound from the rough start against the Dodgers. After all, three losses are still just three losses.