The Colorado Rockies own the best road mark in baseball.
But one place the Rockies have difficulty is Arizona’s Chase Field. The Rockies have lost eight of their past 10 at Chase through this past Tuesday. They have scored three or fewer runs in seven of those games while batting less than .230.
The Rockies conclude their three-game series at Chase on Thursday night at 6:40 (PT) with a scheduled pitching matchup of Jason Hammel versus Ian Kennedy.
Hammel has allowed only two runs in his last 13 2/3 innings. The 28-year-old right-hander is 3-1 on the season with a 3.23 ERA.
Hammel is off a 4-1 victory this past Saturday night against Pittsburgh. Hammel surrendered a home run to Andrew McCutchen, the first batter he faced, but then pitching six scoreless innings in defeating Paul Maholm as a 170 home favorite. Hammel was aided by three double plays.
The combined five runs easily went ‘under’ the nine-run total.
McCutchen wasn’t that impressed with Hammel’s performance, though.
"He pitched well but he gave us pitches to hit," McCutchen said. "Throughout the game, we were hitting the ball hard. That’s why they were able to get those double plays, because we were hitting the ball so hard up the middle or to first base. We were just missing the ball a little bit."
Colorado has won 10 of its last 12 versus NL West foes when Hammel has started.
Kennedy worked into the eighth at home against the Cubs in his last start before yielding to his bullpen. He left the game tied, three-all, with Chicago plating two in the ninth for a 5-3 win. The right-hander tossed a complete game, 10-K shutout vs. the Phillies the start before that.
He faced the Rockies in his first start of the season, not figuring into the decision in Arizona's 7-6 victory at Coors Field. Kennedy faced Colorado five times last season with the D-Backs 3-2 in the outings.
Arizona has one of the worst home earned run averages in the league at 5.27 entering the series against Colorado. Closer J.J. Putz has been doing his job, though, with seven consecutive saves to open the season.
The Rockies also have been getting outstanding relief pitching. Closer Huston Street is 10-for-10 in save opportunities, set-up man Rafael Betancourt was among the leaders in holds and Matt Lindstrom has the lowest ERA on the staff at 0.77 through this past Tuesday.
Colorado has gone ‘over’ the total 59 percent during its first 28 games. The ‘over’ has cashed in eight of the Rockies’ first 12 away matchups. Colorado has gone above the total in 10 of Hammel’s last 13 outings.
Even though Chase Field is a good hitter’s park, the ‘under’ has cashed in 10 of the past 14 meetings between the Rockies and Diamondbacks in Arizona, including seven of the past nine times going into Game 2 of the series.
Doug Eddings is slated to be the home plate umpire. The home team has won 10 of the past 11 times when Eddings has been behind the plate. The ‘over’ is 4-2 in games Eddings has been the home plate umpire. Last year, the ‘under’ cashed in 20 of the 30 games Eddings was behind the plate.
The weather forecast is for temperatures in the 90s with a zero percent chance of rain and a slight cross wind.
Following this game, the Rockies go on the road for a three-game series against San Francisco beginning Friday before returning to Denver for an eight-game homestand.
The Diamondbacks start a nine-game road trip after this game beginning on Friday against San Diego.