Until last August, Coors Field had only been a place of success for Rockies starter Juan Nicasio. That all changed on one line drive.
Nicasio will pitch his first regular season game at home since his career nearly ended on that same mound as he takes the hill tonight for Colorado's opener of a three-game series with the red-hot Arizona Diamondbacks.
The 25-year-old Nicasio won his first four decisions at Coors Field before taking a loss to the Nationals on Aug. 5. The Dominican hurler recorded just three outs in that game before getting hit in the head by a line drive that resulted in a fractured skull and shattered C-1 vertebrae, ending his rookie season after 13 starts.
Nicasio, who still owns a 1.98 earned run average in seven starts at Coors Field, made a successful season debut in Houston on Sunday. He gave up a run on five hits and one walk over seven innings of a no-decision.
The right-hander will be facing the Diamondbacks for the first time in his career looking to pitch the Rockies to just their third win of the season.
After exploding for 17 runs and 22 hits in a victory over the Giants on Wednesday, the Rockies were held to seven hits in a 4-2 loss the following day. Jamie Moyer, 49, was outdueled by 22-year-old San Francisco hurler Madison Bumgarner, with the Colorado hurler allowing four runs -- two earned -- on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings in his second bid to become the oldest pitcher ever to record a win in the majors.
"I threw way too many pitches early in the game, but I made good pitches when I needed to," Moyer said.
Arizona comes into this meeting 5-1 for the first time since 2000. The Diamondbacks bounced back from a loss to the Padres on Wednesday with last night's 3-1 victory. Chris Young hit a solo homer and Ian Kennedy struck out nine batters over six innings.
Kennedy settled in nicely after allowing three consecutive hits to start the first inning. The right-hander gave up only two more hits over the rest of his one-run outing while improving to 6-0 against San Diego in his career.
"[Kennedy] shows up ready to go every day," Young said.
Aaron Hill and Jason Kubel knocked in the other runs for the Diamondbacks.
Daniel Hudson will follow Kennedy's outing tonight after winning his first start on Saturday versus the Giants. The right-hander allowed four runs, five hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings, giving up two homers but still getting the win.
"There were a couple of things I didn't do well today," said Hudson. "A couple of mistakes that they put over the wall and I didn't get enough first-pitch strikes. There's some things I need to work on."
Hudson's 24 wins since Aug. 1, 2010 are tied for the third-most in the National League and the 25-year-old is 1-2 with a 2.73 ERA in four career starts versus the Rockies.
The Diamondbacks won seven of their final eight meetings with the Rockies last year and took the season series 13-5. They won six of nine in Colorado.