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Series preview: Rockies kick off road trip with first game in San Diego

The Colorado Rockies have gone streaking. Considered one of the worst teams in baseball this season, the Rockies had an abysmal first month of the season that carried into the early goings of May. They set historically bad records and struggled mightily as a team but they were able to finish their homestand with a bang. After defeating the San Francisco Giants on Thursday, the Rockies then beat the Texas Rangers on Friday to finally win two consecutive games. A victory on Saturday gave the Rockies their first series victory of the season upon which they defeated the Rangers on Sunday to complete their first series sweep since May 4, 2023.

Now riding a four-game win streak, the Rockies will leave the confines of Coors Field and hit the West Coast as they begin a nine-game road trip in California with their first stop being the San Diego Padres. The Friars enter the series having just won 2 of 3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers and sit in second place in the National League West with a 22-21 record, 5 1/2 games behind the Dodgers. They have won seven of their last 10 games.

Here are a couple of things to keep an eye on in San Diego.

Pitching Probables

5/13: Dakota Hudson (0-6, 6.35 ERA) vs. Randy Vásquez (0-1, 4.50 ERA)

5/14: Cal Quantrill (2-3, 3.94 ERA) vs. Dylan Cease (5-2, 2.19 ERA)

5/15: Austin Gomber (0-2, 3.43 ERA) vs. Michael King (3-3, 3.67 ERA)

Pitching wins ballgames

A key component for the Rockies during their four-game win streak has been a string on quality outings from the starting rotation. Over his last two starts, Cal Quantrill has a 0.66 ERA in 13 2/3 innings with 14 strikeouts and two walks. He now has five quality starts in the year which has been huge for the Rockies. Austin Gomber has also been quite effective all season as over his last three starts he has a 2.29 ERA in 19 2/3 innings with 10 strikeouts and four walks. Both have done well in limiting home runs.

Beyond the starting rotation, Colorado allowed just six runs and three extra-base hits to the Rangers in three games as a unit. The Rangers managed one extra-base hit in the final 21 innings over the weekend, scoring just six runs in total against the Rockies. The ability of the rotation to go five or six innings has allowed the Rockies to use the bullpen for the late innings when they want to rather than being forced to do so because of the shortcomings of the rotation. However, there may be concerns with the struggles of Dakota Hudson.

Over his last four appearances, Hudson has pitched past the fourth inning only once. He has owned an 8.64 ERA in that 16 2/3 inning span, giving up 16 runs on 23 hits with nine strikeouts and a stagging 16 walks. Command has eluded Hudson on the mound as walks continue to be an issue. Twice this season he has issued five free passes in a start, resulting in leaving the game in the fourth inning. When he can limit walks and throw strikes, he can be quite effective, as seen in a 5 2/3 inning start in Miami in which he allowed just two runs along with two walks.

The Padres on the other hand have been excellent in May on the mound. They own a 2.66 ERA with 97 strikeouts against 27 walks this month. The Rockies were able to get after Michael King and Randy Vásquez a bit in their previous starts at Coors Field, but they had a difficult time solving Dylan Cease who allowed one run over seven innings against the Rockies.

Back in Blackmon

There are few people who love playing against the Padres like Charlie Blackmon as the 37-year-old outfielder has been a nuisance for the Friars his entire career. In 185 career games, Blackmon owns a .306/.364/.533 slash against the Padres with 34 home runs and 101 RBI. At Petco Park specifically, Blackmon has batted .262/.316/.439 with 13 home runs and 35 RBI in 94 career games. Blackmon now has the opportunity to move solely into second place for extra-base hits in Rockies history, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Larry Walker with 599. He also moved into fourth place in franchise history with 766 RBI during the homestand, 60 RBI behind Dante Bichette for third most in franchise history. Can the franchise staple keep climbing the ladder against the Padres?

Padres offensive prowess

The Padres offense has been a solid unit this season. They enter Monday tied for the 8th most home runs in the league while also ranking 5th in runs scored. Thanks to players like Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. and the new addition of Luis Arraez, the Padres display multiple threats in the lineup of differing talents. Arraez is notorious for his ability to act as the modern-day Tony Gwynn while the others provide more of a power threat. Xander Bogaerts launched three home runs against the Rockiest at Petco Park last season, meaning that Rockies starters will have to be careful through the lineup. The Padres can strike out, but they have shown a keen ability to draw walks as well, something that has become a problem for the Rockies as they constantly deal with traffic on the bases.



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