Arizona (81-76) at Colorado (72-85)

Light Rain Currently: Denver, CO
Temp: 36° F
  • Game info: 9:05 pm EDT Wed Sep 24, 2003
  • TV: FSAZ, FSRM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After being eliminated from postseason contention in embarrassing fashion, the Arizona Diamondbacks will have to settle for their fifth consecutive winning season as they continue their three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

The Diamondbacks could have clinched a winning record on Tuesday, but instead lost 20-9 and were eliminated from playoff consideration.

The loss, coupled with Florida’s 5-4 win over Philadelphia, put the Diamondbacks six games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race with five games remaining.

“It’s not a good feeling,” Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. “Unfortunately, the majority of teams in baseball go through this every year. We’ve been fortunate not to have gone through it the last couple of years.”

Arizona, which won the last two NL West titles and three of the last four, lost for just the third time in nine games.

Colorado, which won for the third time in four games, set several records in routing the Diamondbacks.

The 20 runs set a team record, topping a 19-2 win over Arizona on June 18, 2000, and a 19-8 win over Atlanta on June 7, 1996. It was the most runs ever scored against Arizona.

Ronnie Belliard homered twice and drove in a career-high eight runs, and Larry Walker hit a grand slam and had six RBIs.

Belliard’s eight RBIs matched the Colorado record, shared by Andres Galarraga and Walker.

“Everything just came together,” Belliard said. “It’s hard to have a couple days off and swing the bat like that, but I think I went with a plan. (Brandon) Webb’s got a good sinker. I was looking for it today. They just hung some pitches today, and every time I swung the bat I got contact.”

The Rockies are batting just .065 this season against Randy Johnson, who starts for Arizona on Wednesday.

The five-time Cy Young winner is 12-4 with a 2.27 ERA in 17 career starts against the Rockies. In two starts against them this season, the 40-year-old left-hander is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA.

STANDINGS: Diamondbacks - 3rd place, 16 1/2 GB, NL West. Rockies - 4th place, 25 1/2 GB, NL West.

DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Johnson (5-8, 4.33 ERA). Johnson has a 1.96 ERA in his last three starts, going 1-1 over that span. He allowed two runs and 10 hits over six innings on Friday, but didn’t get the decision in the Diamondbacks’ 3-2 victory at Milwaukee. Johnson, who also hit his first career homer, struck out 10, his 191st career game with double-digit strikeouts.

ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Jose Jimenez (2-9, 5.17 ERA). Jimenez couldn’t overcome a rough first inning Thursday against Houston in a 6-0 loss. He went six innings, allowing three runs—all in the first—and eight hits. Jimenez is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in eight games, including one start, against Arizona this year. For his career against the Diamondbacks, he is 3-4 with a 3.35 ERA in 31 appearances, including three starts.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Diamondbacks - Luis Gonzalez, .302 avg., 26 HRs, 103 RBIs and 92 runs; Steve Finley, 15 SBs. Rockies - Todd Helton, .356 avg. and 132 runs; Preston Wilson, 35 HRs, 138 RBIs and 12 SBs.

SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 9-8.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Diamondbacks - Arizona is 32-42 against the NL West after posting a 43-33 record in 2002 when it won the division. … Arizona’s previous high for runs allowed was 19, most recently in a 19-1 loss to Los Angeles on Sept. 2 last year. Rockies - CF Wilson has gone 3-for-25 in his past seven games, dropping his batting average to a season-low .283. … The Rockies improved to 49-30 at home with Tuesday’s win, securing the second-best home mark in franchise history. They were 55-26 in 1996. … 2B Belliard’s multihomer game Tuesday was the third of his career.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Diamondbacks - 37-42 on the road; Rockies - 49-30 at home.

INJURIES: Diamondbacks - RHP Mike Koplove (shoulder), 60-day DL. Rockies - C Bobby Estalella (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Denny Neagle (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Chris Richard (shoulder), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

R. Johnson SF vs. J. Jimenez Ari
6-8 Record 2-10
4.26 ERA 5.22
125 K 45
27 BB 32
1.33 WHIP 1.66