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Series Preview: Rockies close out homestand against the Nationals

The Colorado Rockies close out their longest homestand of the year welcoming the Washington Nationals to Coors Field for a weekend set. The Rockies enter the series on the heels of a four-game series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers and are now 26-49 on the year, 15-22 at home, and 5-14 in June. During this homestand, the Rockies have just two victories and have yet to win consecutive games this month. Bullpen woes and an inconsistent offense have contributed to many of their struggles, highlighted by the catastrophic bullpen implosion during a loss in game two of the Dodgers series.

Pitching Probables

6/21: Dakota Hudson (2-9, 4.89 ERA) vs. DJ Herz (1-1, 3.77 ERA)

Since the beginning of May, Dakota Hudson has been much better than folks may think. While he isn’t dominant, he has been a serviceable arm in the rotation. Since May 1 he has made six starts in which he’s pitched into the sixth inning and has allowed more than three runs in just two starts. In his last start, he allowed three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates and collected a season-tying five strikeouts. Since May 19, he has issued more than two walks in a start just once, a key factor for when he is successful on the mound.

DJ Herz looks to build off of his excellent last start when he tossed six shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out 13 in six innings of work against the Miami Marlins. His command has eluded him at times and the hitter-friendly environment of Coors Field may present a problem, but the Rockies have regularly been stifled by rookie starters this season so there is a likelihood he replicates his previous excellent start.

6/22: Cal Quantrill (6-5, 3.43 ERA) vs. Mitchell Parker (5-3, 3.06 ERA)

If there was a stat for gutsy starts, Cal Quantrill would be among the league leaders. He hung with the Dodgers for five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits over five innings of work. His strikeout numbers have dropped this month as walks have also been an issue, but pitching at Coors Field has still been a strength for Quantrill thanks to the ground ball.

Mitchell Parker has enjoyed a quality season on the mound and a good month of June. In four starts this month he has a 2.321 ERA in 23 1/3 innings. In his previous outing against the Marlins, he allowed one run on six hits over six innings while striking out four. The New Mexico native is 5-3 on the year over 12 starts with a 3.06 ERA and 50 strikeouts.

6/23: Kyle Freeland (0-3, 13.21 ERA) vs. Jake Irvin (5-6, 3.24 ERA)

The Rockies are expected to activate Kyle Freeland from the 60-day injured list after he suffered an elbow strain and was placed on the IL on April 19. The injury had been bothering him in early spring training and may have contributed to his struggles in the early part of the season. Freeland struggled in his first four starts, giving up 25 runs in 15 2/3 innings. His last rehab start in Triple-A went well enough, despite four walks in four innings, but the Rockies are hoping that Freeland was able to work on some things to right the ship once he returns.

Jake Irvin has turned in plenty of quality starts over the past two months but is looking to rebound from an okay start in his last outing. In five innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Irvin surrendered four runs on eight hits, with four walks and just two strikeouts. Walks haven’t been an issue this season, so it may have just been an off day for Irvin as he is more prone to pound the zone and throw strikes.

Players to watch

Ryan McMahon is 13-for-41 with six doubles and three home runs over the last 10 games while Ezequiel Tovar is 12-for-46 over his last 12 games with four doubles, one triple, and three home runs with 11 RBI.

Luis Garcia has 12 doubles, five home runs and 28 RBI for the Nationals. Lane Thomas is 10-for-37 with a double and four home runs over the past 10 games.


Rockies: Charlie Blackmon: day-to-day (hamstring), Adael Amador: day-to-day (oblique), Nolan Jones: day-to-day (illness), Josh Rogers: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Elias Diaz: 10-Day IL (calf), Brendan Rodgers: 10-Day IL (hamstring), Kris Bryant: 10-Day IL (rib), Jordan Beck: 10-Day IL (wrist), Kyle Freeland: 60-Day IL (elbow, will return 6/23), Lucas Gilbreath: 60-Day IL (elbow), Daniel Bard: 60-Day IL (knee), German Marquez: 60-Day IL (elbow), Antonio Senzatela: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Nationals: C.J. Abrams: day-to-day (undisclosed), Joey Gallo: 10-Day IL (hamstring), Trevor Williams: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Josiah Gray: 15-Day IL (elbow), Cade Cavalli: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Ferrer: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Mason Thompson: 60-Day IL (elbow)


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