Series Preview: Washington Nationals (31-31) @ Colorado Rockies (34-30)

Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

The Nationals are coming off of a series win against the Twins to come West and face the Colorado Rockies. Here's a closer look at the Rockies as they get set for a three-game set starting tonight.

The Washington Nationals have struggled to get any kind of winning momentum this season. Coming off of a double header sweep against the Minnesota Twins, the Nationals have their sights set on Coors Field and the Colorado Rockies.

Probable Pitchers
Tuesday, 8:40 p.m.
WSH: Dan Haren (4-7, 5.45 ERA)
COL: Jhoulys Chacin (3-3, 4.59 ERA)

Wednesday, 8:40 p.m.
WSH: TBA (Probably Ross Ohlendorf to be recalled from Syracuse (AAA))
COL: Jorge De La Rosa (7-3, 3.38 ERA)

Thursday, 3:10 p.m.
WSH: TBA (Probably Gio Gonzalez)
COL: TBA

A Look At The Rockies With Bryan Kilpatrick of Purple Row.

1- The Rockies have exceeded most expectations so far this season. Do you expect them to contend throughout the year? What are the biggest reasons for their success?

Health is the biggest reason for the Rockies' success, particularly Troy Tulowitzki's ability to stay on the field. Tulo is hitting .351/.419/.654 with 16 home runs and is playing his usual brand of terrific defense. His presence in the lineup offers protection for guys like Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer, and their numbers have benefited, as well. Gonzalez is hitting .302/.380/.612 with 17 homers. Cuddyer is hitting .339/.397/.603 and has gone yard 10 times. And, perhaps most importantly, all of those guys are hitting very well away from Coors Field, especially Gonzalez.

The main concern with the Rockies before the season, at the start of the season and right now is whether or not the pitching would hold up. Early in the season, an unsustainable home run rate allowed the staff to have success. That has wavered a bit as of late, and the bullpen, which has been very good for several years, has had a few blowups in the middle innings recently.

Still, the team has some potential help in this area, particularly if Tyler Chatwood continues to pitch well and Roy Oswalt, who could be with the team this weekend, presents a better alternative to Jeff Francis and Jon Garland. Jorge De La Rosa has been the team's best pitcher and Jhoulys Chacin, who is just 25 years old, still has time to work out his kinks and has shown he can dominate at this level.

In summary, Colorado has a better chance to hang around late into the season than most people think, but ultimately the Rockies are a .500 squad, which sounds disappointing but is a lot better than the 98-loss team a year ago.

2- We don't get to see the Rockies much. What are some of the key differences between Walt Weiss and Jim Tracy - well, besides the whole four-man rotation thing.

The four-man rotation was actually the idea of the front office, but now that the team has De La Rosa, Chacin and Juan Nicasio healthy, it's not as much of a need. There was literally almost nobody to give the Rockies innings last year, so while the idea of the four-man rotation and pitch count limit was flawed in theory, they really had no other choice.

I would say the one big difference between Weiss and Tracy is that Weiss lets the players play, so to speak. Tracy was always fooling around with lineups and showing a discernible bias toward gritty veterans who offered no real quantifiable value to the team. Meanwhile, Weiss is forced to do some of those same things because of "planned days off" for Tulowitzki, et al, but does a better job of keeping his best players on the field. Some of that is reflected in the Rockies' record in Sunday games; they went through a stretch a few years ago where they lost something like 18 straight games on Sundays due in part to Tracy's awful lineups that he felt were a necessity. Weiss has chosen to field something resembling a big-league lineup on Sundays, and that has resulted in a much-more-respectable 6-4 record.

3- What can we expect from the Rockies over this three-game series, and really seven games in the next two weeks?

Assuming Chatwood pitches on Thursday, Colorado will have its best hurlers on the hill for this series, along with Chacin and De La Rosa. Against a fairly weak Nationals lineup, I would expect the Rockies to at least take two out of three. Then again, the San Diego Padres don't have the best lineup in the world, and they scored 26 runs in four games.

The key for Colorado is to have their starters get some length, that way the Rockies' at-times awful middle relief corps doesn't get exposed. Even then, it's hard to predict what will happen as I don't know who is starting for the Nationals on Wednesday and Thursday. But, I guess as long as it's not Zimmermann or Strasburg, the Rockies' offense should be able to do its part.

WASHINGTON NATIONALS


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Zach Duke 12 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000
Bryce Harper 44 150 29 43 7 1 12 23 25 30 2 2 .287 .386 .587
Denard Span 57 230 25 63 11 5 0 15 16 34 6 3 .274 .324 .365
Ryan Zimmerman 46 171 22 46 6 2 6 28 19 42 3 0 .269 .344 .433
Ian Desmond 59 224 23 60 17 2 8 24 11 54 5 1 .268 .298 .469
Anthony Rendon 10 34 3 9 3 0 0 1 5 10 0 0 .265 .359 .353
Wilson Ramos 14 48 4 12 3 0 2 6 4 8 0 1 .250 .308 .438
Gio Gonzalez 13 20 1 5 1 0 1 1 1 6 0 0 .250 .286 .450
Jayson Werth 30 113 18 28 2 0 5 12 6 26 2 0 .248 .292 .398
Adam LaRoche 57 196 27 48 7 1 10 28 26 58 2 0 .245 .332 .444
Kurt Suzuki 44 143 10 34 7 1 2 12 12 21 2 0 .238 .299 .343
Steve Lombardozzi 48 129 11 29 6 1 0 13 3 18 0 2 .225 .237 .287
Dan Haren 12 21 1 4 2 0 0 1 0 11 0 0 .190 .190 .286
Roger Bernadina 45 94 8 16 3 1 2 4 5 28 2 0 .170 .228 .287
Stephen Strasburg 12 24 1 4 2 0 0 0 0 9 0 0 .167 .167 .250
Danny Espinosa 44 158 11 25 9 0 3 12 4 47 1 0 .158 .193 .272
Tyler Moore 37 94 7 14 5 0 2 13 6 36 0 0 .149 .198 .266
Chad Tracy 36 56 1 8 0 0 1 3 3 15 0 2 .143 .186 .196
Jordan Zimmermann 12 25 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 9 0 0 .120 .154 .120
Jhonatan Solano 9 17 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 .118 .167 .118
Ross Detwiler 8 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 11 0 0 .000 .067 .000
Eury Perez 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Nate Karns 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Craig Stammen 16 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 .000 .333 .000
Jeff Kobernus 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .333 .000
Drew Storen 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Ryan Mattheus 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Tyler Clippard 26 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rafael Soriano 24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Henry Rodriguez 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Fernando Abad 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Yunesky Maya 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Ian Krol 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Erik Davis 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Fernando Abad 0-0 8 0 0 0 0 0 7.0 3 0 0 0 1 6 0.00 .57
Ian Krol 0-0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.2 1 0 0 0 0 3 0.00 .60
Jordan Zimmermann 8-3 12 12 3 1 0 0 87.2 69 24 21 6 11 53 2.16 .91
Stephen Strasburg 3-5 12 12 0 0 0 0 74.1 58 30 21 6 21 73 2.54 1.06
Rafael Soriano 1-1 24 0 0 0 15 3 24.0 23 8 7 2 4 18 2.63 1.13
Ross Detwiler 2-4 8 8 0 0 0 0 45.2 56 16 14 3 10 23 2.76 1.45
Tyler Clippard 4-1 26 0 0 0 0 0 25.0 13 8 8 2 12 27 2.88 1.00
Craig Stammen 3-2 16 0 0 0 0 1 29.2 30 11 11 2 9 32 3.34 1.31
Gio Gonzalez 3-3 13 13 0 0 0 0 77.2 59 33 31 7 35 74 3.59 1.21
Henry Rodriguez 0-1 17 0 0 0 0 0 18.0 14 8 8 1 16 11 4.00 1.67
Drew Storen 0-1 25 0 0 0 1 3 24.0 29 13 11 3 6 23 4.13 1.46
Ryan Mattheus 0-0 14 0 0 0 0 1 16.1 20 9 9 0 5 12 4.96 1.53
Dan Haren 4-7 12 12 0 0 0 0 67.2 83 45 41 15 9 53 5.45 1.36
Nate Karns 0-1 2 2 0 0 0 0 9.0 12 7 6 4 3 9 6.00 1.67
Zach Duke 1-1 12 1 0 0 0 0 20.2 31 22 20 2 8 11 8.71 1.89
Erik Davis 0-0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3.0 5 3 3 0 1 5 9.00 2.00
Yunesky Maya 0-1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 2 2 2 1 0 0 54.00 6.00


Washington Nationals Injuries

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ross Detwiler back 05/16/2013
Ryan Mattheus hand 05/20/2013
Bryce Harper knee 05/27/2013
Stephen Strasburg other-excused 06/01/2013
Danny Espinosa wrist 06/03/2013
Wilson Ramos hamstring 05/16/2013
Christian Garcia forearm 03/22/2013



NL East Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Atlanta 39 25 .609 0 Lost 1
Washington 31 31 .500 7 Won 2
Philadelphia 31 33 .484 8 Lost 3
New York 23 35 .396 13 Lost 2
Miami 18 45 .285 20.5 Lost 1

(updated 6.11.2013 at 3:00 PM EDT)



COLORADO ROCKIES


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Tyler Chatwood 7 14 1 5 0 0 0 4 0 1 0 0 .357 .357 .357
Troy Tulowitzki 58 211 40 74 16 0 16 51 23 32 0 0 .351 .419 .654
Michael Cuddyer 45 174 25 59 14 1 10 37 16 34 5 1 .339 .397 .603
Dexter Fowler 60 227 45 69 10 2 10 26 31 56 11 2 .304 .397 .498
Carlos Gonzalez 62 242 51 73 14 5 17 48 32 68 12 1 .302 .380 .612
Jonathan Herrera 30 69 7 20 3 1 0 6 7 9 0 1 .290 .355 .362
Yorvit Torrealba 25 70 6 20 4 0 0 7 10 8 0 0 .286 .383 .343
Jordan Pacheco 43 126 14 35 9 0 1 16 6 16 0 0 .278 .321 .373
DJ LeMahieu 24 70 7 18 4 1 0 4 7 18 5 0 .257 .333 .343
Todd Helton 43 126 13 32 4 0 6 25 13 21 0 0 .254 .319 .429
Nolan Arenado 40 156 19 39 10 2 5 15 8 21 0 0 .250 .287 .436
Reid Brignac 29 48 4 12 3 0 1 6 3 13 0 0 .250 .294 .375
Tyler Colvin 2 4 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250
Wilin Rosario 52 192 22 47 6 0 10 31 7 44 3 1 .245 .275 .432
Chris Nelson 21 66 6 16 1 2 0 4 4 19 0 0 .242 .282 .318
Josh Rutledge 43 157 26 38 3 0 5 13 13 27 5 0 .242 .298 .357
Charlie Blackmon 12 25 4 6 0 0 1 2 1 9 1 0 .240 .269 .360
Eric Young 56 164 22 39 9 3 1 6 11 33 7 4 .238 .286 .348
Jhoulys Chacin 11 20 0 4 1 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 .200 .190 .250
Juan Nicasio 13 17 3 3 0 0 0 0 2 9 0 0 .176 .263 .176
Jon Garland 12 19 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 .158 .158 .211
Ryan Wheeler 6 9 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .111 .111 .222
Jorge De La Rosa 13 22 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 9 0 0 .045 .125 .045
Jeff Francis 9 10 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 0 0 .000 .214 .000
Adam Ottavino 20 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Edgmer Escalona 21 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Josh Outman 19 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Matt Belisle 31 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Wilton Lopez 33 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Chris Volstad 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rafael Betancourt 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rex Brothers 31 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Rob Scahill 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Manny Corpas 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Rex Brothers 2-0 31 0 0 0 2 1 28.2 20 1 1 0 16 28 0.31 1.26
Adam Ottavino 0-1 20 0 0 0 0 0 33.1 28 10 6 3 9 35 1.62 1.11
Manny Corpas 0-1 3 0 0 0 0 0 4.1 4 1 1 0 2 5 2.08 1.38
Tyler Chatwood 3-1 7 6 0 0 0 0 33.2 33 9 8 0 10 30 2.14 1.28
Matt Belisle 4-2 31 0 0 0 0 1 34.1 27 12 12 2 7 25 3.15 .99
Rafael Betancourt 1-3 22 0 0 0 11 1 19.2 15 9 7 1 9 22 3.20 1.22
Jorge De La Rosa 7-3 13 13 0 0 0 0 74.2 75 29 28 5 24 48 3.38 1.33
Wilton Lopez 1-2 33 0 0 0 0 2 33.1 39 13 13 2 6 20 3.51 1.35
Edgmer Escalona 1-2 21 0 0 0 0 1 32.1 32 18 15 5 7 27 4.18 1.21
Jhoulys Chacin 3-3 11 11 0 0 0 0 66.2 65 36 34 2 22 43 4.59 1.31
Juan Nicasio 4-2 13 13 0 0 0 0 68.1 66 37 35 9 25 47 4.61 1.33
Josh Outman 2-0 19 0 0 0 0 1 23.2 25 14 13 1 7 26 4.94 1.35
Rob Scahill 0-0 8 0 0 0 0 0 13.0 13 8 8 3 2 8 5.54 1.15
Jon Garland 4-6 12 12 0 0 0 0 68.0 85 45 44 9 23 32 5.82 1.59
Jeff Francis 2-4 9 9 0 0 0 0 40.0 49 33 28 7 17 33 6.30 1.65
Chris Volstad 0-0 4 0 0 0 0 0 6.1 13 6 6 0 1 3 8.53 2.21



Colorado Rockies Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Michael Cuddyer ribs 06/11/2013
Tyler Chatwood triceps 06/10/2013

Doubtful

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Edgmer Escalona triceps 06/11/2013

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Rafael Betancourt groin 06/01/2013

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Edwar Cabrera shoulder 02/14/2013



NL West Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Arizona 36 28 .562 0 Won 1
San Francisco 33 29 .532 2 Won 2
Colorado 34 30 .531 2 Won 1
San Diego 30 34 .468 6 Won 1
Los Angeles 27 36 .428 8.5 Lost 3

(updated 6.11.2013 at 3:01 PM EDT)



HITTER TO WATCH

Troy Tulowitzki, SS

As Bryan mentioned, Tulowitzki is healthy and proving it with his bat. He is 12/25 in his last seven days (.480/.552./1.040 with 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 3 BB and 3 K. On the year, he is hitting .351/.419/.654 with 16 HR and 51 RBI. Make no mistake, the offense in Denver goes through Tulo and he is cementing himself once again among the top shortstops in the game, if not the best - a list he was missing from the last few years as he battled injuries. Not to rub it in to any Blue Jays fans (actually, it's intentional,) but he was taken after Ricky Romero.

PITCHER TO WATCH

Rex Brothers, LHP

Rex Brothers only has two saves which makes him somewhat under the radar in the Rockies bullpen, but he is pitching very well for the Rockies and he's left-handed which is not a good thing for the Nationals. Brothers is also 2-0 with a 0.31 ERA. Brothers has been pretty dominant with almost as many strikeouts (28) as base runners (20 hits and 16 walks). However, like Bryan said above, the Rockies have been lucky with their pitchers keeping the ball in the park and Brothers is probably leading that charge. He hovers around 10 per cent home runs to fly balls. This year he has yet to allow one in 22 fly balls so far this season. He has been pretty good against righties and lefties allowing a .194 average to LHH and .206 against RHH. He also has a 38.8 strike out percentage against left handed hitters.

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