Rockies Weekend Warmup in San Diego ... And Then The Stretch Run

The Rockies have had more success in Petco Park than any other ballpark they visit in the NL West. And they need to build on that this weekend. The Rockies open a four-game series at Petco Park on Thursday night, the final tuneup before a three-week stretch that figures to determine the reality of their post-season bid.

In a three-week stretch starting Monday they play 20 consecutive games -- and home-and-home series -- against the Giants, Dodgers, and Diamondbacks. It begins with a 10-game home stand in which the Giants visit for three games starting Monday, then the Dodgers for three, and finally a four-game visit by the Diamondbacks.

The Rockies then turn around and go to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Arizona for three-game series against each team before a regular-season-ending homestand against the Phillies (four games) and Nationals (three games).

The Rockies not only find themselves a half-game back of the NL West-leading D-backs, and a game ahead of the third-place Dodgers, but they also are just a game back of the Brewers for the second NL Wild-Card slot, and only 1 1/2 games back of the Wild-Card leading Cardinals.

The focus for now, however, is on the Padres and taking advantage of the four games at Petco Park, where the Rockies have 68-68 all-time record, their third-best overall record as a visitor in a current NL ball-park, their best record in a park in which they have played 35 or more games.

Rockies Life on the Road

Stadium W L Pct. ERA
SunTrust Park 6 1 .857 3.43
Nationals Park 23 13 .639 3.59
PETCO Park 68 68 .500 3.58
Dodger Stadium 81 131 .382 4.20
Citi Field 17 18 .486 4.75
Great American 24 26 .480 4.28
AT&T Park 64 106 .376 4.29
Wrigley Field 45 52 .464 4.30
PNC Park 25 38 .397 4.43
Busch Stadium 13 34 .277 4.66
Miller Park 26 33 .441 4.71
Citizens Bank Park 20 32 .385 4.75
Marlins Park 7 17 .292 4.79
Chase Field 66 117 .361 5.23

Petco is far from a hitter-friendly ballpark. The Rockies, however, have four of the top 15 averages among active players with at least 100 career at-bats at Petco, by DJ eMahieu, a career .309 hitter at Petco, nine points lower than active leader, Justin Turner of the Dodgers.

A Hit at Petco

Player Season G AB AVG OBP SLG
Justin Turner 2011-2018(8) 41 132 .318 .389 .515
Jason Heyward 2010-2018(9) 29 115 .313 .358 .557
DJ LeMahieu 2011-2018(8) 53 181 .309 .364 .387
Jon Jay 2010-2018(8) 74 286 .301 .340 .374
Joe Panik 2014-2018(5) 33 116 .293 .352 .466
Matt Kemp 2006-2018(13) 197 738 .286 .327 .469
Paul Goldschmidt 2011-2018(8) 59 202 .282 .404 .490
Yasiel Puig 2013-2018(6) 41 142 .282 .366 .444
Ian Desmond 2010-2018(8) 33 132 .280 .321 .485
Nolan Arenado 2013-2018(6) 48 168 .280 .349 .482
Ryan Zimmerman 2006-2018(10) 32 112 .277 .362 .536
A.J. Pollock 2013-2018(5) 33 106 0.274 0.366 .575
Andrew McCutchen 2010-2018(9) 31 111 0.27 0.401 .514
Charlie Blackmon 2011-2018(8) 55 204 0.27 0.332 .500
Gregor Blanco 2008-2018(8) 49 140 .257 .327 .414

LeMahieu missed two of the Rockies six games at Petco this season, but he has made his presence felt when he has been on the field in San Diego, hitting .400 and driving in three runs despite playing only four games and hitting at the top of the lineup. And he has the second-best career average at Petco Park among current Rockies, behind only Ian Desmond.

Rockies Hitters at Petco in 2018

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
DJ LeMahieu 4 15 4 6 0 0 1 3 4 1 .400
Charlie Blackmon 6 22 5 8 2 0 1 1 3 3 .364
Ian Desmond 5 18 2 5 1 0 1 5 0 8 .278
Nolan Arenado 6 20 2 5 2 0 0 5 6 4 .250
Chris Iannetta 4 15 2 3 0 0 0 2 2 2 .200
Trevor Story 6 22 1 4 1 0 0 2 3 5 .182
Carlos Gonzalez 5 17 1 3 1 0 0 1 0 6 .176
Gerardo Parra 5 17 4 3 1 0 1 3 3 2 .176
David Dahl 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Ryan McMahon 4 6 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 .000
Tony Wolters 2 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000

Rockies Hitters at Petco in Their Careers

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO AVG
Ian Desmond 15 60 12 20 1 0 5 15 2 17 .333
DJ LeMahieu 50 176 20 55 6 1 2 19 15 33 .313
Nolan Arenado 48 168 19 47 10 0 8 26 19 33 .280
Charlie Blackmon 55 204 30 55 12 1 11 20 14 44 .270
Trevor Story 21 78 6 19 3 0 1 8 7 24 .244
Carlos Gonzalez 68 254 34 58 11 0 6 25 23 78 .228
Chris Iannetta 27 85 10 19 2 0 2 16 12 27 .224
Matt Holliday 40 156 18 32 9 2 4 19 13 32 .205
David Dahl 5 19 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 6 .158
Gerardo Parra 20 65 6 9 1 0 1 5 6 13 .138
Tony Wolters 11 31 1 4 0 0 0 1 4 12 .129
Ryan McMahon 5 6 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 2 .000

Petco is no hitter's paradise, even with the erector-set adjustments they have made to try and create a better offensive opportunity, but among active visiting players with at least 100 at-bats in th ballpark, the Rockies have four of the top 15 career averages in Petco Park, led by LeMaheiu in the third spot, Desmond No. 9, Nolan Arenado No. 10 and Charlie blackmon No. 14.

Making the Best of the Visit

Player Season G AB AVG OBP SLG
Justin Turner 2011-2018(8) 41 132 .318 .389 .515
Jason Heyward 2010-2018(9) 29 115 .313 .358 .557
DJ LeMahieu 2011-2018(8) 53 181 .309 .364 .387
Jon Jay 2010-2018(8) 74 286 .301 .340 .374
Joe Panik 2014-2018(5) 33 116 .293 .352 .466
Matt Kemp 2006-2018(13) 197 738 .286 .327 .469
Paul Goldschmidt 2011-2018(8) 59 202 .282 .404 .490
Yasiel Puig 2013-2018(6) 41 142 .282 .366 .444
Ian Desmond 2010-2018(8) 33 132 .280 .321 .485
Nolan Arenado 2013-2018(6) 48 168 .280 .349 .482
Ryan Zimmerman 2006-2018(10) 32 112 .277 .362 .536
A.J. Pollock 2013-2018(5) 33 106 .274 .366 .575
Andrew McCutchen 2010-2018(9) 31 111 .270 .401 .514
Charlie Blackmon 2011-2018(8) 55 204 .270 .332 .500
Gregor Blanco 2008-2018(8) 49 140 .257 .327 .414

But be honest. The Rockies resurgence this season has been tied to the Big Three in the rotation -- German Marquez, who starts on Thursday, John Gray, who starts on Saturday, and Kyle Freeland, who starts on Sunday.

In the last two months, the three of them rank among the top 17 starting pitchers in the NL in terms of earned-run average, which is quite an accomplishment based off the history of the franchises and the challenges of playing home games at a mile-high elevation.

Starting Something Special

Player Team W L Pct GS IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA
Aaron Nola Phi 5 1 0.833 10 67 44 12 11 2 16 70 1.48
Jacob deGrom NYM 3 5 0.375 11 80.2 62 19 15 3 14 98 1.67
Dereck Rodriguez SF 4 1 0.8 9 60.1 35 12 12 2 19 44 1.79
Clayton Kershaw LAD 5 1 0.833 10 67.1 51 19 15 4 8 61 2.00
Zack Wheeler NYM 7 0 1 10 64.2 50 15 15 3 18 64 2.09
Trevor Williams Pit 5 4 0.556 10 55 45 13 13 5 20 34 2.13
Zack Greinke Ari 5 3 0.625 10 65.2 48 17 16 7 15 63 2.19
Kyle Freeland Col 5 1 0.833 11 66 56 17 17 4 27 61 2.32
Rich Hill LAD 5 2 0.714 10 62 45 19 17 6 20 70 2.47
Max Scherzer Was 6 2 0.75 11 72 49 21 20 10 18 84 2.50
German Marquez Col 6 1 0.857 10 66.2 49 20 19 6 14 76 2.57
Derek Holland SF 2 1 0.667 9 55.2 50 19 17 4 19 62 2.75
Madison Bumgarner SF 4 3 0.571 11 68.1 62 24 21 6 29 61 2.77
Jack Flaherty StL 5 3 0.625 11 60.2 36 19 19 7 23 76 2.82
Jameson Taillon Pit 5 3 0.625 10 63.1 63 21 20 5 14 56 2.84
Joe Musgrove Pit 3 4 0.429 9 57.2 51 21 19 6 11 42 2.97
Patrick Corbin Ari 4 2 0.667 11 68.2 59 23 23 1 13 78 3.01
Jon Gray Col 3 0 1 8 55.1 39 21 19 7 10 44 3.09
Jhoulys Chacin Mil 7 2 0.778 11 65 47 26 24 7 19 58 3.32

Gray pitched seven shutout innings in his only start at Petco this year, giving up just four hits, and has a 2.17 ERA at Petco. Freeland made his 2018 debut at Petco and gave up four runs in 5 1/3 innings, which skews his numbers. It will be interesting to see how both Freeland and Marquez respond to this weekend's starts. 

The Ledger at Petco

2018 W L GS IP H R ER BB SO ERA AVG
Jon Gray 1 0 1 7 4 0 0 0 7 0.00 .160
Tyler Anderson 1 0 2 11.2 11 4 3 1 7 2.31 .239
Chad Bettis 1 0 1 5 5 2 2 4 4 3.60 .250
German Marquez 0 1 1 5 6 2 2 1 5 3.60 .300
Kyle Freeland 0 1 1 5.1 5 4 4 2 6 6.75 .205
Antonio Senzatela 0 0 0 1 2 3 3 1 1 27.00 .400
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Career W L GS IP H R ER BB SO ERA AVG
Jon Gray 3 2 6 35 28 11 10 8 47 2.57 .219
Tyler Anderson 1 1 3 17.1 17 7 6 2 13 3.12 .254
Chad Bettis 1 2 6 32.1 32 12 12 12 25 3.34 .260
Kyle Freeland 0 1 2 12 10 6 6 4 11 4.50 .227
Antonio Senzatela 1 0 1 8.2 10 6 5 2 6 5.19 .294
German Marquez 1 2 3 17.1 21 13 13 8 19 6.75 .304
Tracy RingolsbyComment