The Rockies are a miserable 34-54 on the season, but do not mistake that to mean that a trip to Coors Field will be an easy series win for the Pirates. The Rockies lead the National League in slugging percentage and are second in OBP and second in runs with 425 and you can be certain that most of that damage comes in Coors Field. They have a miserable pitching staff, but the Pirates’ offense kind of had a miserable weekend for scoring 14 runs in three games, striking out 12, 15, and 17 times over the three game set in Miller Park.
The point here is that if the Pirates play the same brand of baseball in Coors Field that they did in Miller Park, with the strikeouts and the errors and the poor pitching, they’re going to be lucky to get out of Colorado with one win, no matter how bad the Rockies are. This series is not a joke: the Reds are on fire and if the Pirates can’t get at least two wins in Denver, they might find themselves surprisingly far down in the standings for a club that took a division lead into the All-Star break. Every game is important now.
Alex Presley is back in the starting lineup and Josh Harrison is in right field after yesterday’s defensive debacle. The Pirates have an outfield with two outfielders in it! Jeff Karstens looks to keep his excellent return from the DL going against Jeff Francis, who’s been pretty bad this year and who is left-handed (Andrew McCutchen is hitting .462 against lefties this year). The first pitch is at 8:40 ET.