<
>

Series preview: Rockies at Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Not only did the Colorado Rockies pull themselves out of a nosedive this weekend, they may have kept the Dodgers’ hopes of an NL West pennant race alive with their first three-game sweep at San Francisco in six years.

Less than a week ago, the Rockies were plunging out of contention with an eight-game losing streak, but after three comeback wins up north, they’ve won five straight and they’re only two games behind the Dodgers for second place going into the opener of a three-game series at Dodger Stadium on Monday night.

The Dodgers have their top three starting pitchers, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, lined up for this series and they’re going to need all the pitching they can get. The Rockies are averaging 7.4 runs per game during their winning streak. Ryu has a 4.71 career ERA against Colorado.

If Colorado stays in contention for a couple more months, Troy Tulowitzki might wind up with a unanimous MVP award. Not only does he lead the majors in batting average (.362), OPS (1.128) and WAR (5.3), he leads all National League shortstops in fielding percentage and ranks highly in advanced defensive metrics.

The Dodgers and Rockies have split their six meetings this season. The Dodgers are just trying to get a feeling of momentum in a season that has been bereft of it. They have yet to win more than three games in a row and, even after winning two of three from Arizona over the weekend, they’re 15-20 at home.

Monday’s starting pitcher will be a bit of an enigma for the Dodgers though he grew up about 50 miles from the stadium. Tyler Matzek, the No. 11 overall pick in 2009 out of Capistrano Valley high school, will be making his second major-league start after holding the Atlanta Braves to five hits over seven innings in his debut.

Matzek, who throws in the mid-90s with a good slider, didn’t allow a base runner until the fifth inning against Atlanta.

The Dodgers’ depth is getting tested, particularly at third base. Juan Uribe remains on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, Chone Figgins just went on the DL and Justin Turner has been limited of late by a calf injury.