It would be understandable if the Colorado Rockies played out the string in the final weeks of the season, but instead they have been surging of late.
First, they ensured they wouldn't lose 100 games for the first time in franchise history with a win at the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday and thenthey took two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Colorado (64-82) has won three of its last four and begins its final homestand of the season when the San Francisco Giants (69-77) come to town for three games starting Monday night.
The Rockies will send Chad Kuhl (6-9, 5.33 ERA) against Jakob Junis (4-6, 4.15) in a battle of righties on Monday night.
Colorado could be without second baseman Brendan Rodgers for the first game. Rodgers left Sunday's 4-3 win over Chicago with left hamstring tightness after he pulled up at first base on a groundout.
Rodgers has dealt with hamstring issues in the past. He strained the right one during spring training in 2021 and didn't return until mid-May.
Manager Bud Black said he doesn't think this injury is serious.
"We'll see, but we don't think it's significant, and that's why we got him out of there as early as we did," Black said. "Like all of these hamstrings, we'll see how it sets up the next couple of days to see the soreness level."
Kuhl is making his 25th start on Monday, the most he has made since he recorded 31 with Pittsburgh in 2017. Kuhl is seeking his first victory since July 8 and is coming off a promising outing at the White Sox on Tuesday when he allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Monday will be his third start this season and sixth career outing against San Francisco. He is 0-2 with a 6.17 ERA in his previous five starts against the Giants.
San Francisco is coming off a 4-3 loss to Los Angeles, which capped a sweep by the Dodgers. They finished 4-15 against them this year and dropped the last five to them.
Last year at this time the Giants were on their way to 107 wins and preparing for the postseason, but this year they'll be lucky to finish above .500. With the playoffs not in the immediate future, San Francisco has made decisions looking toward next year.
The Giants shut down starter Alex Wood due to a shoulder impingement and recalled a couple of prospects this weekend -- outfielder Heliot Ramos and right-hander Sean Hjelle. Manager Gabe Kapler said the moves were for immediate help, not to get a longer look at younger players.
"Had (Ramos) performed at a very good level in (Triple-A) Sacramento relative to the league, he would have already gotten more opportunities here," Kapler said. "Frankly, directly, the year hasn't been great for him."
Junis is trying to make the most of his last few starts to this year. He has faced Colorado twice in his career -- both of them starts -- with a 3.00 ERA in those outings but hasn't recorded a decision.
--Field Level Media