Colorado takes on Washington in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader. This was a make up from Game 1 on Monday, which was postponed due to inclement weather. The Nats send out right-hander Erick Fedde against veteran right-hander Jon Gray.
(before Tuesday’s result)
Rockies are slipping from wild card race
Colorado came into the series against Washington having lost four straight to San Francisco at home and two of three at the New York Yankees. That places them at 5.0 games outside the last wild card spot, which is held by Washington (as of Tuesday afternoon). The Rockies’ issues usually stem from one major variable: pitching. In four of their last five games, they’ve allowed eight or more runs and 38 overall in those four losses. They rank 29th in the majors in ERA (5.52), 30th in WHIP (1.47) and 24th in quality starts. So if the Rockies miss out on the playoffs, they can point to starting pitching.
— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) July 21, 2019
Fortunately, the Rockies can hit led by CF Charlie Blackmon (.319, 21 HR, 60 RBI), SS Trevor Story (.291, 22 HR, 58 RB(, 12sb) and 3B Nolan Arenado (.307, 22 HR, 76 RBI). Scoring is not an issue as Colorado averages 5.47 runs per game (4th) and hits .266 (6th).
Gray has been a bright spot on a lousy starting staff. Take into account that they play 81 games at the launching pad that is Coors Field. So having a 9-7 record with a 4.11 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP is not awful. But Gray’s last start against San Francisco was not a pretty one, as he gave up 11 hits, six runs, three walks and two dingers in 5.1 innings in an 11-8 defeat. Against Washington, he has four appearances and has allowed 17 runs and 25 hits over 18.2 innings.
Nats need Scherzer back
Washington is coming off a 2-2 split with Atlanta on the road this past weekend. Max Scherzer (back) missed Sunday’s start even though he’s eligible to come off the 10-day IL. This couldn’t be a worse time for Washington to lose Scherzer, who might return Thursday or Friday. He’s 9-5 with a 2.30 ERA with 181 strikeouts in 129.1 innings. Over his last nine starts, he’s been brilliant going 7 or more innings seven straight times and allowing one or less runs in eight of those starts. But age and workload may have caught up to Scherzer, although the Nats are in the thick of the wild card race, at 0.5 behind St. Louis.
Thanks to an injury to Austin Voth and Scherzer, the Nats will turn to Fedde, who is 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA this season. He’s started seven games and has gone 46.1 innings allowing 42 hits and 19 walks. In his last start, Fedde allowed one run and five hits in six innings against Baltimore on July 17. However, the Nats lost that game thanks to the bullpen, 9-2. The Washington bullpen is the biggest issue on the team. The Nats rank last in the majors in bullpen ERA at 5.93.
- 14-5 in Gray’s last 19 starts during game 2 of a series.
- 8-3 in Gray’s last 11 starts.
- 2-5 last 7 in series.
- 2-7 last 9 at home vs. Rockies.