After making a strong postseason push earlier this month, the Colorado Rockies need to put together another impressive surge over the final week for any chance of making the playoffs.
Jimenez looks to bounce back from another disappointing showing and help the Rockies avoid losing for the seventh time in eight games in Monday night’s series opener against the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers.
After winning 10 in a row to pull within 1 1/2 games of the NL West lead, Colorado (83-72) has lost eight of 12 and now sits 4 1/2 back of division-leading San Francisco. The Rockies, who fell for the sixth time in seven games with Sunday’s 4-2 loss to Giants, are also four games behind wild card-leading San Diego.
Jimenez’s chances of winning the Cy Young also appear to be dwindling after being one of the top contenders for much of the season.
Since beginning the year 15-1, Jimenez (19-7, 3.00 ERA) is 4-6 in his last 13 starts. He’s given up at least four runs in three of four outings and has just two wins in his last nine starts.
Staked to a four-run first-inning lead in Arizona on Wednesday, Jimenez ended up permitting five runs, five hits and four walks in four innings in an 8-4 loss. He allowed two homers to the Diamondbacks after giving up one in his previous 11 outings.
“He was not himself,” manager Jim Tracy said. “He could not get into any kind of rhythm whatsoever. He was mechanically out of whack.”
Jimenez also hasn’t had much success in three starts against the Dodgers this year, going 1-2 with a 3.54 ERA. He’s also recorded a 6.62 ERA in losing three home starts against Los Angeles (75-81) since the start of last season.
The Rockies took two of three at Dodger Stadium last weekend, as Tulowitzki had three homers and seven RBIs in the series.
After posting a 1.83 ERA in winning his first five starts with Los Angeles, Lilly is 0-4 with a 6.91 ERA in his last five.
This stretch started when Lilly was tagged for seven runs and nine hits in four innings of a 10-5 loss at Colorado on Aug. 29. Ten days before that at Dodger Stadium, Lilly limited the Rockies to two hits in a complete-game 2-0 victory.
Lilly is coming of a decent outing, allowing three runs and eight hits with eight strikeouts over eight innings in Wednesday’s 3-1 defeat to San Diego. The left-hander hasn’t lost five consecutive decisions since July 13-Aug. 18, 2001, his first full season in the majors.
The Dodgers arrive in Colorado following Sunday’s 5-4 loss in Arizona. They’ve lost 15 of 21 and need to win all of their remaining six games to avoid their first losing record since 2005.
“We’ve been inconsistent out there, and that’s why we’re playing out the string here in the last week,” manager Joe Torre said.