The Padres will try to win their first series against the Rockies as Clayton Richard takes the mound this afternoon at Coors Field. Richard has struggled with the long ball this season, so today's task will be a challenging one. He's given up 12 home runs so far this year after allowing an NL-Worst 31 homers in 2012. His last time out he gave up a two-run shot and a three-run shot to the Dodgers. Altogether, he allowed six runs in just 4 1/3 innings of work. It was the fourth time in his last five starts that he's pitched less than six innings, and over that five-game stretch he has posted an 11.39 ERA. Richard's last time out against the Rockies, however, was his best start of the season, and his best performance in seven outings against Colorado. He tossed six scoreless innings of two-hit ball, though the Rockies went on to win 2-1.
Last night, Colorado couldn't get much going when they needed to, hitting 0-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Carlos Gonzalez, who had been heating up prior to this series, has gone 2-for-13 through the first three games of this four-game set and went hitless last night.
Today the Rockies will send Juan Nicasio to the hill to try to prevent a series loss against the Padres. Nicasio is seeking his first win in four tries and will try to build on some career success against San Diego. He is 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA in three starts against the Padres. In his most recent start, he pitched well (three runs on five hits in six innings) against the Reds, but didn't factor into the decision.
Chase Headley will try to get back on track against Nicasio, against whom he's been successful in the past. He has gone 6-for-9 with two home runs against the right hander. The Padres offense has been boosted by some great hitting, especially by Kyle Blanks and Everth Cabrera, who are riding six- and nine-game hitting streaks, respectively. For Cabrera, eight out of those nine games have been multi-hit performances.