Miami Marlins (63-63) at Colorado Rockies (50-76)
- COL at home (32-32), last 10 (5-5).
- MIA on road (26-32), last 10 (6-4).
- Henderson Alvarez (6.3 IP, 5.5 SO/9, 1.7 BB/9) vs. Franklin Morales (5.5 IP, 6.0 SO/9, 4.1 BB/9)
- Tom Koehler (5.3 IP, 7.0 SO/9, 3.3 BB/9) vs. Jordan Lyles (5.7 IP, 6.5 SO/9, 3.4 BB/9)
- Brad Hand (5.5 IP, 5.4 SO/9, 3.6 BB/9) vs. Christian Bergman (5 IP, 6.0 SO/9, 1.2 BB/9)
(Innings pitcher per-start, strikeouts per-9 IP, walks per-9 IP)
The Marlins have won three of their last five games and are hitting .251/.318/.380 as a team with five home runs and 22 runs scored in those games.
Miami has two players outside of Stanton hitting above .280, veteran corner infielder Casey McGehee .294/.361/.372 and lefty outfielder Christian Yelich .288/.365/.426. 23 year-old OF Marcell Ozuna is second on the team with 18 home runs to go with 65 RBI’s.
The 22 year-old Yelich is proving to be a strong piece next to Stanton. He’ll bring a .524/.583/.667 batting line into Coors Field over his last five games. Ozuna is staking his claim to the final outfield spot as well hitting .368/.400/.789 with two home runs during that same stretch.
Miami’s offense runs scored per-month this season: April/March 126 runs in 27 games, May 127 in 28 games, June 101 in 27 games, July 89 in 26 games and so far in August 64 through 18 games.
Stanton is big enough and good enough to shoulder the load and Miami has a pulse in the wild card race thanks to their grind it out attitude from their offense and pitching staff.
Gone Fishing – When Jose Fernandez was lost for the season everyone thought the Marlins rotation was done. Their 3.81 team ERA ranks as fourth worst in the NL. The 4.23 runs against is the fourth most in the NL. The Marlins will have their “Ace” starting the series.
24 year-old Henderson Alvarez has posted a 2.43 ERA, 1.203 WHIP with 89 strikeouts and 23 walks over 144 2/3 innings. 54.6 percent of the balls in play against the left-hander this season have been on the ground. That’s thanks to his two-seam fastball which he throws 51.5 percent of the time. Alvarez has one start under his belt since coming off the disabled list. He held Arizona to one run on five hits over seven innings.
Right-hander Tom Koehler brings an August ERA of 4.76 into his fourth start of the month. Through 17 innings he has given up 19 hits and nine runs. Opponents are hitting .288/.365/.394 over that time as the early shine, a .232 batting average against over the first four months, has worn off. Koehler’s fastball averages 93 mph and he compliments that with a curve (79 mph, 21.9%) and slider (86.2 mph, 14.3%).
Brad Hand started the year in the bullpen and now finds himself in the rotation. As a reviler Hand had 15 strikeouts, 13 walks and 16 hits against over 18 2/3 innings. Through 11 starts Hand has posted a 4.57 ERA, 1.344 WHIP with 33 strikeouts and 19 walks through 61 IP. The 24 year-old’s fastball averages 92.4 mph. He’ll throw a two-seam (24.4%), curve (79.1 mph, 20.6%) and a changeup (86.1 mph, 13.4%).
Closer Steve Cishek has 31 saves on the season and leads all relief pitchers with 67 strikeouts. Mike Redmond has solid arms to throw out of the bullpen. A look at DailyBaseballData.com shows how he has used them over the last week.
Bridesmaids – The Rockies have not been the bell of the ball this year. Matt McBride‘s first career grand slam (third career HR) turned out to be the game winner for Colorado against Kansas City Wednesday night.
The 29 year-old is the final piece still on the Rockies roster from the Ubaldo Jimenez trade with Cleveland. With Triple-A Colorado Springs this season McBride hit .305/.345/.487 in 206 plate appearances.
Colorado has won four of their last six games hitting .307 (63-205) with 10 home runs and 38 runs scored. Drew Stubbs is one of the Rockies scorching hot over the last four games with two home runs, six RBI’s and a .421/.450/.842 batting line. Adam Peterson has the look back at the in-and-out series against the Royals.
Three of a Kind – What ever stretching routine and diet Franklin Morales is on, he might want to pass that on to the rest of the Rockies pitchers. Morales has thrown 114 1/3 innings as a starter and reliver this year which is the second most of any pitcher on the staff (Jorge De La Rosa 149.2 IP). Now that doesn’t mean it’s been all roses for Morales who as a starter has a 5.15 ERA, 1.611 WHIP while teams are slashing .287/.365/.480.
With three starts under his belt since coming off the disabled list the results have been average for 23 year-old Jordan Lyles; 16.1 IP, 6.06 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 15 hits, 11 runs with 13 strikeouts and six walks. Teams are hitting only hitting .250/.333/.483 in those three games. That’s on par with what he posted the first two months of the season through 11 starts, .236/.316/.374. The difference Lyles only allowed four home runs over those 11 starts compared the three through three this month.
Welcome back Christian Bergman. The 26 year-old righty went down with a hand injury around the same time as Lyles. Bergman posted two quality starts before giving up nine hits and seven runs over three innings before he injured his left hand and departed the game. He’s coming off two rehab starts with the Sky Sox in which he tossed seven innings of four hit, one run ball in his final rehab start. Bergman throws a four and two-seam fastball along with a slider, changeup and curve. He leaned on his four-seam (89.2 mph, 32.8%), slider (83.9 mph, 24.1%) and changeup (82 mph, 17.8%) in his three big league starts this season. His ground ball, fly ball, line drive totals on balls in play: 22-20-16.
LaTroy Hawkins notched his 19th save of the season Wednesday night. The chances have been few and far between for the 41 year-old. Through 43 innings Hawkins has posted the best WHIP of anyone in the pen, 1.116 (38 hits, 10 walks). There’s many ways to say the Rockies bullpen has been bad this season; Walt Weiss playing pin the tail on the donkey picking pitchers, pitchers throwing darts blind folded, but we won’t rub it in. Let’s view it as a glass half full.