This midweek series between the visiting Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres carries a ton of weight in the NL Wildcard race. Monday’s 1-0 win by the Padres coupled with a Marlins and Giants win dropped the Rockies to ninth in the playoff standings, just a half game back. Unfortunately for the Rockies, they are catching a talented team that has won seven of their last 10 and is heating up as the playoffs approach. During that stretch, the Rockies has struggled to a 4-6 record, including a series loss against the Padres in Colorado.
Meanwhile, the San Diego Padres have turned themselves into the biggest threat to the Los Angeles Dodgers. If the playoff standings hold, those two teams would face each other in the second round of the playoffs, and that series could be epic. But first things first. The Padres have this series plus 10 more games against NL West opponents, including three against the Dodgers.
Tonight’s game will be the final regular season game between the two squads. Going into Tuesday’s matchup, the Padres held a 5-3 season series lead over the Rockies.
Senzatela’s Success Against Padres Breeds ConfidenceWhen you think of Colorado, you probably do not think of pitching because of the gaudy offensive numbers courtesy of Coors Field. But Antonio Senzatela has been a quiet force for the Rockies, posting a respectable 4.30 FIP and a 1.130 WHIP in 2020. Senzatela is a contact pitcher, which makes his numbers more impressive knowing where he pitches his home games. On August 29, Senzatela shut out this Padres team for seven innings, scattering seven hits. Unfortunately, his bullpen blew a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning. While the Rockies eventually won the game, Senzatela had nothing to show for it except confidence that he can match his performance in this start.
The Rockies always have dramatically different home/road splits. Away from Coors Field, the Rockies slash just .221/.297/.359 as a team, posting a .276 BABIP. This offense is not particularly hot either, hitting just .256 over the past seven games (3-4). Against right handers, the Rockies hit .248/.311/.410 with 35 home runs and a .295 BABIP.
While the team has been average offensively over the past seven games, Raimel Tapia has been hot, slashing .320/.357/.520 over the past seven games. Charlie Blackmon’s road splits show an impressive .307/.373/.493 with three home runs, and Trevor Story has hit .275 with five homers against right handed pitching.
Padres Look to Continue Dominance of RockiesThe San Diego Padres have made a habit of winning against the Rockies. The series opening 1-0 win over the Rockies gave the Padres a 5-3 season series lead, and marked their third shutout in the last seven games. The Padres will send Zach Davies to the hill to continue a remarkable run of pitching. Davies is 1-1 in his two starts against Colorado, pitching a combined 10.2 innings, giving up nine hits and seven runs (three earned) to go along with three walks and eight strikeouts. Davies’s last start was a win against Oakland, in which he held the A’s scoreless over seven innings despite walking four batters.
Backing up Davies is an offense that has hit 74 home runs thus far this season. Even though the offense is slashing just .239/.309/.390 over the past seven games, the pitching has been dominant. Against right handers, the Padres hit .263 with 53 home runs and a .296 BABIP, and at home the Friars hit .260/.348/.516 with 40 homers and a .290 BABIP.
Individually, Trent Grisham enters tonight’s game on a roll, slashing .429/.455/.476 over his last seven games. Manny Machado has hit nine home runs to go along with a .338/.413/.817 slash line at Petco Park, and Fernando Tatis, Jr. has crushed right handed pitching to a tune of .333/.418/.707 with 12 home runs.
- San Diego: 15-5 in last 20 games
- San Diego: 6-2 in last eight games
- Colorado: 7-13 in their last 20 games
- Colorado: 1-4 in last five against San Diego