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Brewers - Rockies Series Preview

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This weekend, YOUR Milwaukee Brewers make the first of two trips to Denver to face the Colorado Rockies.

The bad news: Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez continues to cut through the league like a lumberjack on speed; he's now 13-1 with a preposterous 1.15 ERA and 0.997 WHIP.

The good news: Jimenez pitched yesterday.  Phew.

2010 record vs. Rockies: 2-1, 15 runs scored, 14 runs allowed

Current three-game series:

  • Friday, June 18, 2010 @ 8:10 p.m. CDT. TV: FS Wisconsin  Radio: 620 WTMJ
  • Saturday, June 19, 2010 @ 7:10 p.m. CDT. TV: WMLW  Radio: 620 WTMJ
  • Sunday, June 20, 2010 @ 2:10 p.m. CDT. TV: FS Wisconsin  Radio: 620 WTMJ

Rockies Probable Starters (in order):

  • Jason Hammel (4-3, 4.53 ERA in 2010; 2009 vs. MIL: 2 GS, 2-0, 4.91 ERA, 13 SO, 2 BB, 3 HR allowed)
  • Jeff Francis (2-2, 3.29 ERA in 2010; did not face MIL in 2009)
  • Aaron Cook (2-4, 5.15 ERA in 2010; 2010 vs. MIL: 1 GS, 0-1, 6.75 ERA, 5 SO, 1 BB, 0 HR allowed)

Brewers Probable Starters (in order):

  • Manny Parra (2009 vs. COL: 1 GS, 0-1, 2.2 IP, 16.88 ERA, 5 SO, 5 BB, 0 HR allowed)
  • Yovani Gallardo (2010 vs. COL: 1 GS, 0-1, 7.0 IP, 3.86 ERA, 5 SO, 2 BB, 1 HR allowed)
  • Randy Wolf (2010 vs. COL: 1 GS, 1-0, 6.2 IP, 5.40 ERA, 8 SO, 0 BB, 1 HR allowed)

BATTING LEADERS

Rockies  
                  Brewers
Batting average Miguel Olivo, .309
Batting average Ryan Braun, .300
On-base percentage Ryan Spilborghs, .378

On-base percentage Prince Fielder, .396
Slugging Spilborghs, .545

Slugging Corey Hart, .584
OPS Spilborghs, .923

OPS Hart, .920
Home runs Carlos Gonzalez, 10
Home runs Hart, 17
Runs batted in Gonzalez, 42

Runs batted in McGehee, Hart: 47
Runs scored Troy Tulowitzki, 47
Runs scored Braun, 44
Stolen bases Gonzalez, 8
Stolen bases Braun, 11
wOBA Spilborghs, .389

wOBA Hart, .388
WAR Olivo, 2.5

WAR Fielder, 1.5


PITCHING LEADERS

Rockies  
             
Brewers
Wins Ubaldo Jimenez, 13
Wins Yovani Gallardo, 6
ERA Joe Beimel, 0.81

ERA Gallardo, 2.66
FIP Matt Belisle, 2.66

FIP John Axford, 2.26
SO Jimenez, 88

SO Gallardo, 94
K/9 Rafael Betancourt, 11.28

K/9 Villanueva, 11.72
WHIP Beimel, 0.81
WHIP Villanueva, 1.22
IP Jimenez, 101.1

IP Gallardo, 88.0
Saves Manny Corpas, 8

Saves Trevor Hoffman, 5
WAR Jimenez, 3.2
WAR Gallardo, 2.0

 

The Brewers and Rockies faced off to start the season, and, before the series started, I asked a couple of questions to Russ Oates of SBN's most excellent Rockies blog, Purple Row.  Let's see how things have played out over the first 60 games of the year, after the jump.

First, we asked Russ about Troy Tulowitzki's importance to the Rockies.  Answered Russ:

[A]n early key to success for the Rockies will be to see Tulo start off hot, or at least temperate. He's been a cold starter, which has led to dismal Aprils and Mays for the Rockies.

The Rockies currently sit at 34-32, four games back of the Dodgers in the NL West.  Colorado was 11-12 in April and 16-12 in May, and Tulowitzki shook off his history of slow starts to go: .304 / .350 / .435 in April and .319 / .418 / .543 in May.  For a team that had a strong finishing kick last season (45-29 after the All Star Break in '09), that's gotta be a positive development.

We then asked Russ which non-Tulowitzki position player needed to have a big year for the Rockies to contend.  Russ picked Brad Hawpe:

He went from being an All-Star in the first half of the season to making the Anti-All-Star Team after the break. Which Hawpe will we see in 2010? If it's the latter one, will his decline be as bad as the departed Garrett Atkins' performance was in 2009? Seth Smith is stalking the Coors Field outfield.

Hawpe's been limited to 48 games this year because of injuries, but, when he has been in the line-up, he's been OK: .275 / .365 / .450, with just four homers and 22 driven in.  After starting the year on a tear, Hawpe's scuffled badly in the last month, with a line of .208 / .315 / .299 in the last 22 games he's played.  Seth Smith has been good, putting together a .269 / .329 / .519 line, and his .849 OPS is good for fourth on the team behind Ryan Spilborghs, Miguel Olivo (seriously), and Tulo.  Between Hawpe, Spilborghs, Smith, and Carlos Gonzalez (who leads the team in homers and RsBI), it's a pretty formidable outfield there in Denver.

Finally, we talked former Brewer Jorge de la Rosa, who tantalized Brewer fans with his obvious physical talents but struggled to put things together in the majors (both in Milwaukee and Kansas City).  Last year, the light bulb went on and JdlR had a very solid season for the Rockies.  Russ said:

It's really all about focus for JDLR. He found a sports psychologist last season and then produced an outstanding season. He'd still have games with 3+ walks, but as long as he kept piling up the strikeouts it didn't matter. De La Rosa has settled in as a middle-of-the-rotation starter who could be even better this season.

de la Rosa has only made four starts for the Rockies this year and hasn't pitched since the end of April, when he tore a flexor tendon in his left middle finger. When he got hurt, he was expected to miss a couple of months, putting his tentative return at the end of June.  He's been throwing BP and is expected to go on a rehab assignment in the next week or so.

Oh, right: we also asked about Dinger, the purple triceratops who serves as the Rockies' mascot:

Many fans want Dinger to go the way of his ancestors. Unfortunately, it'll take another 65 million years for that to happen.

At last check: Dinger's still lame.