Rockies Insider: Dodgers arrive in Denver with an askew rotation, and surging Colorado must be out for blood
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Rockies Insider: Dodgers arrive in Denver with an askew rotation, and surging Colorado must be out for blood

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies watches his RBI double during the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field on May 29, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies host the Dodgers for a three-game set starting Friday night.

New month, new mindset.

With the calendar turned to June and Los Angeles in town for a three-game series to close the homestand, the Rockies must be out for blood against their National League West foe.

Colorado’s been, in a word, inconsistent throughout the first third of the season, hence just the 1.5 game lead over Arizona and 4.0 game lead over the Dodgers despite glaring struggles for each of those clubs.

But now is the chance for Colorado to step on the gas, especially considering the Rockies won’t have to see Clayton Kershaw (he returned from the disabled list on Thursday against the Phillies and isn’t traveling to Denver) and that they’ll face a hodgepodge collection of relievers in the series opener with left-hander Alex Wood’s scheduled start pushed to Sunday.

Because with two series wins already under the Rockies’ belt on a hit-laden homestand, another series win would be helpful — but not as much as a sweep.

That would put Colorado 7.0 games up on Los Angeles heading to cellar-dwelling Cincinnati next week — a healthy early June lead on the defending World Series runner-ups — and lend more validity to manager Bud Black’s often-stated belief that, despite strikeout woes, some starting pitching problems and varied performances by the bullpen, this is a team that will contend for a first division title when it all comes together.

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What’s on tap?
Los Angeles Dodgers, 6:40 p.m. Friday, ATTRM Los Angeles Dodgers, 5:15 p.m. Saturday, ATTRM Los Angeles Dodgers, 1:10 p.m. Sunday, ATTRM At Cincinnati Reds, 5:10 p.m. Tuesday, ATTRM
Scores, Stats and Standings
Must-Read
Jack Dempsey, The Associated PressJon Gray

Why does Jon Gray have to make everything so darn hard? And nothing is harder than watching him pitch. It requires sliding a hand over your face to peek through fingers, full of trepidation for the next mess made by the Rockies’ alleged ace. Read more…

Getty ImagesJake McGee

The Rockies boast two shutdown relievers in set-up man Adam Ottavino (0.95 ERA, 0.64 WHIP) and closer Wade Davis (National League saves leader with 18), but it’s been a mixed bag beyond those two despite the fact Colorado leads the National League with 39 holds. Read more…

Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado.

Rockies nation held its breath Sunday at Coors Field. Read more…

Quick Hits

+ Rockies podcast: KOA’s Jerry Schemmel talks baseball; plus beat writers’ take at one-third mark

+ There are some concerns through the first third of the Rockies’ season. Team chemistry isn’t one of them

+ Kiszla vs. Saunders: Which Rockies hitter is more likely to emerge from his funk: Ian Desmond or Carlos Gonzalez?

+ Saunders: Rockies aren’t trading for Joey Votto or Jose Abreu, but they have to do something

+ Rockies’ offense continues to come around amid pivotal homestand

+ Jon Gray struggles against San Francisco again, Giants’ bullpen is money as Rockies lose series finale

+ This Denver man has amassed one of the most complete (and maybe most valuable) baseball memorabilia collections in the country

+ Brian Fuentes, all-star reliever turned almond farmer, is happy to see the Rockies heavily invest in the bullpen

+ Ian Desmond responds to Rockies fans’ boos.

+ Will the “opener” catch on? Rockies weigh in on the strategy of using relievers to start games, as Tampa Bay is doing

+ Rockies reliever Chris Rusin’s continued struggles center around command, too little use of the changeup

+ Defensive versatility of Rockies’ young role players, top prospects gives Bud Black options to get the offense figured out

+ Adam Ottavino, Rockies’ dominant late-game reliever, goes on DL with sore oblique

+ Amid lockdown May, Rockies southpaw Mike Dunn just might find himself in more high-leverage innings

+ Rockies Record Tracker: See how Colorado has fared against each opponent this season.

+ Want to chat about the Rockies? Ask to join our closed discussion group on Facebook.

By The Numbers

$289 million

Major league teams spent a record $289 million on players picked in last year’s amateur draft, an increase of 7.2 percent from 2016. Read more…

Parting Shot
Andy Cross, The Denver PostHailey Dawson

“I don’t get nervous,” she said pregame in the dugout, dabbing occasionally on her purple prosthetic. “I just focus on the catcher.” Read more…

Get in Touch

If you see something that’s cause for question or have a comment, thought or suggestion, email me at dboniface@denverpost.com or tweet me @danielboniface.

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