Dodgers, Rockies enter final 3 games heading in opposite directions

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

With the final three games of their season on deck, the Colorado Rockies are looking to the future.

They can’t play spoiler this week, but they can find out what they have for 2023.

Colorado (66-93) has given young players and journeymen a chance to show their stuff, and that will continue when the Rockies visit the Los Angeles Dodgers (110-49) on Monday night.

One of those journeymen, right-hander Jose Urena (3-8, 5.24 ERA), will go against the Dodgers’ Tony Gonsolin (16-1, 2.10) in the fourth of six straight games at Los Angeles.

Urena will make his 17th and final start of the season and his second one at Dodger Stadium since joining Colorado’s rotation in early July. He allowed just one run in 6 2/3 innings in his other start in Los Angeles in one of his most effective starts against the team with the best record in baseball.

In six career games — five starts — against the Dodgers, he is 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA.

The Rockies are wrapping up their fourth straight losing season, and they’re ending it on the road, which has not been kind to them this year. Colorado, which snapped a seven-game losing streak with Sunday’s 4-1 win against Los Angeles, is 25-53 away from Coors Field.

“It hasn’t been acceptable all year. We haven’t won at all on the road this year. It’s kind of been the same story over the past four years,” Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland said. “It’s got to change. It’s got to change within us, and it’s got to change within our organization of how we go about things when we go on the road.”

The road is made tougher when facing a dominant team such as the Dodgers. Los Angeles has nearly as many home wins (56) as the Rockies have overall and will send a right-hander to the mound who has pitched well against Colorado.

In six career games — five starts — Gonsolin is 2-1 with a 2.54 ERA against the division rival.

The Dodgers aren’t concerned about playoff positioning in these final three games. They already have home-field advantage locked up throughout the postseason. And they became the first NL team since 1909 to win 110 games when they beat the Rockies on Saturday night.

Los Angeles has been a model of excellence over the past decade but has been even more impressive over the past four years. The Dodgers have won at least 106 games in each of the past three full seasons, and during the COVID-shortened year of 2020, they had a .717 winning percentage on their way to capturing the World Series title.

The run of winning seasons hasn’t been lost on Los Angeles, which has won the NL West in nine of the last 10 years.

“That’s a round number (of wins); it’s a big number,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To celebrate that is a great thing. I think our guys are in the moment appreciating it, but we have our eye on some bigger things, too.”

–Field Level Media

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