ROCKIES (40-34) AT DODGERS (51-25)
10:10 p.m. ET; SNLA, ATTSN-RM, MLB.TV
The Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers will meet closer to sea level for a three-game series this weekend, although both offenses still figure to act like they are at altitude.
When Colorado takes the field at Dodger Stadium on Friday night, it will be more of a threat than the last time these teams met. When the Dodgers swept a three-game series at Colorado in early April, it started the Rockies on an eight-game losing streak.
It was a miserable run, as the Rockies actually lost 12 times in a 13-game stretch. Colorado was just 3-12 to open the season, and questions about what changes needed to be made were well underway.
Those questions aren’t being asked anymore, as the Rockies will enter the weekend series 37-22 since that awful start. Colorado is in second place in the National League West, although Los Angeles still holds a healthy 10-game lead.
The Rockies have hearkened back to the club’s offenses of old. On Wednesday, Colorado tied a club record first set 21 years ago with at least 12 hits in six consecutive games.
That streak ended Thursday at Arizona, but the Rockies still walked off with a 6-4 victory in 10 innings.
“Setting records like that, that’s pretty impressive,” Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon told reporters after Wednesday’s game. “… I don’t think we look at it like, ‘Oh, this is a crazy stretch we’re on.’ I just think it’s our team’s potential.”
McMahon referenced Ian Desmond, Daniel Murphy, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and David Dahl as the catalysts of the offense. But Story has since gone on the 10-day injured list with a thumb sprain, while Arenado left Thursday’s game after he fouled a ball off his foot.
The Dodgers know injuries as well. Left-handed starter Rich Hill just went on the injured list with a left forearm flexor strain, as the Dodgers were in the midst of readjusting their rotation.
They scheduled a bullpen day for Thursday, but it ended up being back-to-back bullpen days when Hill had to leave Wednesday’s victory over the San Francisco Giants after one inning. It took its toll as the Dodgers had to hang on for a 9-8 victory Thursday.
The Dodgers have been solid in the rotation yet again, but like the Rockies, it is the offense that has put on a show.
Cody Bellinger is an early MVP candidate with 24 home runs and 60 RBIs, not to mention a .358 batting average that also makes him a triple-crown candidate. Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner have all taken turns to help Bellinger carry the offense.
The Dodgers’ biggest challenge is simply getting enough playing time for all of their offensive contributors.
“Anybody will say it’s easier to get in a groove and build on those hot streaks when you’re playing every day,” Taylor said, according to MLB.com. “But I know it’s part of being on this team. You’re not going to have that luxury. We have a lot of really good players. Try to keep a level head.”
The challenge of facing all that offense on Friday will fall to Rockies right-hander German Marquez (7-3, 4.57 ERA) and Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler (7-1, 3.06).
Marquez is 2-1 lifetime against the Dodgers over six starts with a 3.28 ERA. Buehler is 2-1 in 11 appearances (seven starts) against the Rockies with a 3.00 ERA.
–Field Level Media