Colorado (74-87) at Arizona (81-80)

Fair Currently: Phoenix, AZ
Temp: 81° F
  • Game info: 4:10 pm EDT Sun Sep 28, 2008
  • TV: FSRM, FSAZ
Preview | Box Score | Recap

One year has made a world of difference for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Two teams that reached the playoffs in 2007 will close out their respective seasons Sunday at Chase Field as the Diamondbacks look to complete a sweep of the defending NL champions.

Colorado (74-87) failed to follow last season’s surprising playoff run, which ended with it being swept by Boston in the World Series. The Rockies, who swept Arizona (81-80) in the NL championship series last year, started slowly in 2008 and never really recovered.

The Diamondbacks were in playoff contention until this week when a 12-3 loss to St. Louis on Thursday clinched the division for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Arizona has won the first two games of this series, scoring three runs in the eighth inning en route to a 6-4 victory Saturday.

“It seems like our at-bats late in the game now of a sudden are good,” manager Bob Melvin said.

Adam Dunn hit his 40th homer of the season in the fourth inning, giving him at least 40 homers in five straight seasons.

The Diamondbacks are 14-3 against the Rockies this season, and with a win Sunday would finish with their most wins against Colorado in a season in franchise history.

Randy Johnson (10-10, 4.11 ERA) looks to win for the first time since Aug. 12 when he starts for Arizona.

Johnson, who is 0-2 with a 3.92 ERA in his last seven starts, pitched six innings against the Cardinals on Tuesday, allowing five runs and seven hits in a 7-4 loss.

“It’s just frustrating,” Johnson told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site. “I haven’t been this frustrated since 2004 here. So, yeah, without a doubt, it’s been frustrating since the All-Star break for me.”

Johnson is 17-7 with a 2.42 ERA in 26 starts against the Rockies. He is 2-0 with a 4.91 ERA in two outings against them this season.

The 45-year-old left-hander is set to become a free agent and is six wins shy of 300 in his career.

“Arguably the greatest left-handed pitcher in baseball history,” Melvin said. “A goal of his is still to get to 300 wins, so hopefully I’m still managing him. He’s got some more to accomplish.

“I’m not speaking for him. I don’t know what he’s said or what his aspirations are, but it would surprise me if he didn’t want to come back.”

The Rockies will counter with Ubaldo Jimenez (12-12, 4.13), who has won his last three decisions.

Jimenez is also trying to win his third straight start. He pitched six innings against San Francisco on Tuesday, allowing three runs and four hits in a 9-4 victory.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 3.79 ERA in three starts against the Diamondbacks. On Aug. 12, he allowed four runs and 11 hits in a 4-2 loss to Arizona.

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Starting Pitchers

U. Jiménez Bal vs. R. Johnson SF
12-12 Record 11-10
3.99 ERA 3.91
172 K 173
103 BB 44
1.43 WHIP 1.24

Scoreboard

Sunday, Sep 28