Based on their record, a series against the Rockies should be a good opportunity to pick up some wins. But then you see that the Rockies have been playing well recently. And then you remember that the Phillies have fared poorly at Coors Field in recent years. And all of a sudden, you have a tough series on your hands.
Record: 16-22, Fifth place in National League West (Seven games back)
The last time they met
The Rockies visited Philadelphia a few weeks ago, and after dropping the first game, the Phillies took the next three.
The Rockies have been on an upswing lately, going 8-2 in their last ten games. The turnaround has been sparked by the offense which has scored the second most runs in the National League in that time. The biggest hitting star has been rookie shortstop Ezequiel Tovar.
Second youngest big leaguer playing stellar defense at SS and trending massively on offense.. Ezequiel Tovar folks pic.twitter.com/WeQZbHH5T2— The Rookie (@AcunaMatata86) May 7, 2023
The Rockies’ strong offensive performance has not been due to Ryan McMahon. The third baseman has an OPS of .395 in the month of May.
The house of pain
The Phillies have fared poorly at Coors Field in recent years. They’ve gone 10-21 in Colorado the past ten years and haven’t won a series there since 2012 (although they did split four-game series in 2015 and 2016).
The Phillies are 9-19 at Coors Field since 2013, including losses on this date in 2014 and 2019.— Tim Kelly (@TimKellySports) April 18, 2022
The last time they won a series in Denver (July 2012) some players of note were Cliff Lee, Juan Pierre, Mike Fontenot, Chase Utley, Ty Wigginton and Hunter Pence.
They are due.
The Phillies’ struggles are ironic considering this faux pas by a Denver newspaper:
How amazing is this in Denver Post. It’s guide to Coors Field but the photo is of Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. #phillies pic.twitter.com/KPpO2egxHl— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) April 6, 2018
Some of that failure can be explained by some lousy Phillies teams, but it’s not like the Rockies have covered themselves in glory over the past decade either. In that time, the Rockies have zero division titles, and two Wild Card berths. Most years, they’ve finished in fourth or fifth place.
There’s reason to hope that this weekend will turn out differently. Aaron Nola will start on Saturday, and he has an acceptable 3.96 ERA at Coors. Friday’s starter has been even better.
Phillies @ Rockies tonight— The Good Phight (@TheGoodPhight) May 12, 2023
Taijuan Walker gets the start, coming off of six brilliant innings on Sunday.
Walker is his career at Coors Field:
5 G, 31 IP, 26 H, 7 ER, 2.03 ERA, 3.63 FIP, 1.23 WHIP, 12 BB, 30 K
And the third game will be started by someone making his 2023 debut...
The return of Ranger
Ranger Suarez will make his return to major league action, which should be a boon for a rotation that hasn’t consistently given the team quality innings. Based on how he’s looked in his minor league rehab, he should be able to hit the ground running.
Ranger Suarez looks ready. He just gave up a run on a pair of singles, but he is up to 93.6 and is efficiently carving through this lineup.— Matt Winkelman (@Matt_Winkelman) May 7, 2023
The Rockies as an MCU villain
The Frost Giants
They come from a land of ice and snow and a trip there usually results in death. However, despite their impressive power, they’re usually defeated when they travel to other lands.
The NBA playoffs are weird. There seems to be no continuity from game to game, and just as one team looks like it’s taken control of the series, they play poorly in the next.
Considering how many times the Celtics turned the ball over and how poorly Jayson Tatum shot for most of the game (Do the announcers get a commission for every time they say his name?), they should have been blown out in game six. But the Sixers’ inability to make an open three-pointer (or a layup in some cases) and some agonizingly bad offensive possessions prevented them from closing things out.
I have no idea what to expect in game seven. The Sixers could pull a complete no-show and get blown out, or Tobias Harris could score 40 points and lead them to victory. Nothing would surprise me at this point.
When I’m optimistic about the Phillies, it usually goes poorly. But here goes anyway: The Phillies will get three quality starts this weekend and win the series.