An injured teammate is certainly weighing on the minds of the Colorado Rockies.
Gonzalez looks to build on a strong return from the disabled list as the Rockies attempt to continue their dominance of the Washington Nationals in the finale of this four-game set Sunday.
Colorado (53-61) is still feeling the emotional effects of Juan Nicasio’s(notes) injury. The right-hander was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of Washington’s Ian Desmond(notes) during Friday’s 5-3 loss.
Nicasio is at a hospital resting comfortably after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured vertebra, and the team says he has movement in his arms and legs.
Despite the scary incident, the Rockies regrouped for a 15-7 victory Saturday, setting a season high in runs.
“It shows the character of the team,” said Dexter Fowler(notes), who had two hits and a career-high four RBIs. “We’ve got to just keep going out and doing it. It’s still heavy on everybody’s hearts and we’re praying for him. Fortunately, he’s doing better and we’re excited to come back out and play.”
Gonzalez is happy to be back after a wrist injury forced him out of action for two-plus weeks. He had two hits and drove in a run upon his return Saturday, and is hitting .381 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in his last 23 home games.
He owns a team-leading .335 average at home with 10 homers and 39 RBIs in 50 games, and the season series finale with the Nationals (54-59) may just pad those totals.
Despite being 12 games back of Atlanta in the wild-card chase, he feels the Rockies are capable of closing the gap.
“We know we can do it. We have to believe in ourselves - play good baseball and feel good about ourselves,” Gonzalez told the team’s official website.
Colorado has won 18 of 23 meetings with the Nationals, winning eight of 10 in Denver.
The right-hander gave up four runs in a season-low four innings of Tuesday’s 5-0 home loss to Philadelphia.
Cook is facing Washington for the first time since April 19, 2010, when he surrendered five runs and seven hits with four walks in three innings of a 5-2 defeat in the nation’s capital.
The Nationals are trying to gain a split of this series, and Lannan (8-7, 3.65) takes the mound looking to tie his career high in wins.
The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.32 ERA in his last five road games, but he’s 0-2 with a 7.56 ERA in five overall starts versus Colorado. He lost to the Rockies on July 8, giving up three runs and getting pulled in the fourth with an injury as the Nationals lost 3-2.
Lannan was solid Tuesday, allowing three runs with a season-high eight strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings of a 9-3 win over Atlanta.