The Arizona Diamondbacks-Colorado Rockies’ three-game series doesn’t have any bearing on the wild-card race, but the teams aren’t playing that way.
The Diamondbacks (65-72) and Rockies (60-79) played a classic game in Denver on Friday night, combining for eight homers — including the longest in the majors this season and a grand slam — and 23 runs in the Rockies’ 13-10 win on a damp night.
The weather won’t be warmer for Saturday night’s matchup between the teams, with temperatures forecast to be in the high 40s when Arizona left-hander Madison Bumgarner (6-13, 4.83 ERA) faces right-hander Jose Urena (3-6, 6.13).
Bumgarner is very familiar with the Rockies, having pitched an entire season’s worth of innings in his 41 career starts against the NationaL League West rivals. Bumgarner is 19-10 with 3.44 ERA against the Rockies but has fared a little worse in Colorado, going 6-8 with a 4.92 ERA in 19 career starts at Coors Field.
Bumgarner struggled in his five starts in August, going 0-3 with a 9.23 ERA, a stretch that saw his ERA jump from 3.83 to 4.87. He hasn’t recorded a win since July 23 but his last outing, a loss to Milwaukee on Sept. 3, was a step in the right direction.
He allowed three runs — two earned — in five innings and felt like he pitched better than he has.
“There’s still a lot to do better, but it was pretty good,” Bumgarner said. “I felt like I did a lot better job of keeping the ball out of the middle of the plate, so that was mostly — not going to say the main concern, but that was something I was thinking about.”
Urena has been up and down since joining Colorado’s rotation in early July. Two of his past three starts were forgettable — giving up nine runs to Texas on Aug. 24 before leaving with one out in the second inning and allowing six earned runs in 5 1/3 innings at Cincinnati on Sunday.
One of his starts since joining Colorado came against Arizona on Aug. 13, when he gave up four runs in six innings and took the loss.
That loss was his only career decision against the Diamondbacks. In five career appearances — three starts — he has compiled a 6.11 ERA.
If Urena can get the kind of offensive output the Rockies churned out Friday night he could get back on the winning track. Elias Diaz had a career-high seven RBIs, capped by a three-run, walk-off homer, his second of the night. Ryan McMahon also had two homers and C.J. Cron hit one 504 feet, tying a Coors Field record.
Colorado has hit 12 home runs on this six-game homestand, with two games left.
“I don’t think the hitting coaches and I can put a finger on it,” manager Bud Black said after Friday’s game. “Let’s continue this as we finish out this season as strongly as we can to give us an indication that we can do it again.”
–Field Level Media