Colorado (64-52) at Miami (62-54)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 72° F
  • Game info: 1:35 pm EDT Sun Aug 16, 2009
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Not many teams have been able to shut down the Colorado Rockies. The Florida Marlins and poor weather have certainly done it recently, and the NL wild-card race has tightened as a result.

A day after having their game postponed by rain, the Rockies and Marlins will play a doubleheader Sunday to complete this three-game set at Land Shark Stadium.

Florida (62-54) began this series Friday with a 6-5 win over Colorado (64-52), climbing within two games of the Rockies for the wild-card lead. San Francisco is between both clubs, one game behind Colorado, which hit .315 and averaged 6.3 runs while winning eight of its previous 12 games this month before striking out 15 times Friday.

Josh Johnson(notes) led the Marlins to their seventh win in eight games, going 6 2-3 innings before allowing his first hit - a solo homer by Garrett Atkins(notes). Florida is 3-1 with a 2.06 ERA against the Rockies this season.

“It’s good to set the tone for the series,” Johnson said. “That’s what we needed.”

The weather interrupted any momentum Johnson may have created, though, as Saturday’s game was rained out, forcing a doubleheader Sunday to conclude the season series. The postponed contest never started and was called after a 90-minute wait, and there’s a 30 percent chance of rain Sunday.

“It’s a lot of aspirin, a lot of headaches,” said Fredi Gonzalez, who has led the Marlins to one doubleheader sweep and two splits in his three seasons as manager. “Call it a double headache. The thing is you don’t want to stop and start, stop and start, and both teams blow out their bullpen.”

Gonzalez will give the ball to Chris Volstad(notes) (8-9, 4.71 ERA) in the opener, as he looks to win for the first time in four starts.

The right-hander has no record with a 6.89 ERA in his last three games after winning his previous two while allowing five runs in 12 1-3 innings. He was tagged for six runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 9-8, 11-inning win over Houston on Tuesday.

Volstad is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in two starts against Colorado.

The Rockies will counter with Aaron Cook(notes) (10-4, 3.93), who was scheduled to start Saturday and is healthy enough to pitch after leaving his last outing due to a hyperextended big toe.

“We just kind of sat around,” Cook told the Rockies’ official Web site. “I didn’t even stretch or anything. You learn to deal with it. After playing baseball for so long, you come to a place like this, you know that you have a chance of being rained out or being in a delay.”

Cook was taken out after five innings and ended up suffering his first loss in more than two months, giving up three runs in five innings as Colorado fell 3-1 at Philadelphia on Aug. 6.

The right-hander was 7-0 with a 2.97 ERA in 11 starts since losing at Houston on June 1.

Cook is 2-2 with a 4.50 ERA in four starts versus the Marlins.

He’ll be facing a Florida lineup that has been just as hot as Colorado’s. The Marlins have had at least 10 hits in a club-record 11 straight games, and have scored six runs or more in seven consecutive contests.

In the second game, Colorado will turn to Jorge De La Rosa(notes) (10-8, 4.78), who can set a career high with a victory.

The left-hander was outstanding Monday, allowing one run with 11 strikeouts in 7 2-3 innings of an 11-5 win over Chicago.

He’s 1-4 with an 8.54 ERA in six games - five starts - against the Marlins, who will send Rick VandenHurk(notes) (2-1, 4.15) to the mound in the nightcap.

The right-hander allowed two runs in five innings to earn a win in Florida’s 8-6 victory over Houston on Monday. He’s surrendered two runs or fewer in four of his five outings since being called up from the minors July 20.

He lasted 4 1-3 innings in his only start against the Rockies, giving up two runs as the Marlins lost 4-3 on Aug. 2, 2007.

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Starting Pitchers

A. Cook Col vs. C. Volstad Atl
11-6 Record 9-13
4.16 ERA 5.21
78 K 107
47 BB 59
1.41 WHIP 1.43


Sunday, Aug 16