Phillies-Rockies 5 Things: Jerad Eickhoff Looking for Consistency Vs. Rockies' Potent Offense | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Phillies-Rockies 5 Things: Jerad Eickhoff Looking for Consistency Vs. Rockies' Potent Offense

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    Phillies-Rockies 5 Things: Jerad Eickhoff Looking for Consistency Vs. Rockies' Potent Offense
    CSNPhilly.com
    Phillies-Rockies 5 things: Jerad Eickhoff looking for consistency vs. Rockies' potent offense

    Phillies (15-26) vs. Rockies (28-17)
    Coverage starts at  6:30 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

    The Phillies return home after a disastrous 2-7 road trip to host the NL West-leading Colorado Rockies in a four-game split.

    Jerad Eickhoff gets the start for the Phils and is coming off of his best start in a month, but has a tough matchup vs. the Rockies' potent offense.

    Here are five things to know:

    1. Like the old Eick
    Eickhoff has been the model of consistency for Phillies pitchers since he joined the club in 2015, with 31 quality starts (six or more innings with no more than three earned runs) in 49 career games. But Eickhoff struggled recently, before regaining his form in his last start at Texas.

    In his three prior starts - vs. the Dodgers, Cubs and Mariners - Eickhoff averaged just 4.2 innings per start as his ERA ballooned to 4.76. But the righty seemed to regain his form vs. the Rangers in his last start, a six-inning, two-earned-run outing.

    Building off of that step will be a tall task, though against an explosive Rockies lineup.

    2. Better hitters than Rocky
    The hard-hitting Rockies are coming to town.

    Colorado boasts one of the league's best offenses, ranking fourth in runs scored, 10th in home runs and fifth in extra-base hits. Take the Rockies out of the thin air at Coors Field, and the numbers tell a different story, though. On the road, Colorado drops to 12th in runs, 14th in homers and 10th in extra-base hits. Still solid numbers, but nothing that jumps off the page at you. The Phillies (as bad as they are on the road) have more extra-base hits.

    The Rockies are led by Mark Reynolds (yes, that Mark Reynolds), with 12 homers and 39 RBI. Shockingly, Reynolds - who has set the all-time single-season strikeout record in a season - is leading the team with a .323 batting average. 

    Just about the only thing you don't have to worry about with the Rockies' offense is their speed. The Rockies rank dead last in MLB with just 11 steals on the year. 

    3. Not the same old Rockies
    Despite the dip in numbers on the road, the Rockies are still 15-7 on the road this season, the second-best mark in MLB, behind only the Astros.

    What's different about this year's team, unlike years past, is the pitching. This year, they're a middling staff, which is actually a huge improvement for the club. Last season, Rockies pitchers ranked in the bottom five in MLB in almost all categories: 27th in ERA (4.91), 28th in runs allowed (860) and 28th in opponent batting average (.274), just to name a few.

    This year, the Rockies have knocked off nearly half a run per game (4.48 ERA) and rank 13th in the entire league with a .250 opponent batting average. With an offense like theirs, a middling pitching staff could be all the Rockies need to earn a postseason bid.

    4. Oh, 'Dubel
    What's happened to Odubel Herrera?

    After an All-Star 2016 season, Herrera has been one of the Phillies' biggest disappointments in 2017. Batting just .236 on the year, Herrera is on pace to easily set a career high in strikeouts (168) and career lows in runs (60) and extra-base hits (39). Not a good look for Herrera after signing a five-year deal to be a building block of the future in the offseason. However, there is hope: In his career, Herrera has increased his batting average, runs scored and OPS each month as the season has gone along. 

    5. This and that
    •Jeff Hoffman will make a spot start for the Rockies on Monday. He's the Rockies' third-ranked prospect by Baseball America and has a 4.97 ERA with 32 strikeouts and 19 walks in 10 career MLB games. Batters are hitting .282 off him this season.

    •Eickhoff's numbers have risen with Cameron Rupp behind the plate. With Rupp catching, Eickhoff has a 3.53 ERA as opposed to a 3.13 ERA with Carlos Ruiz catching.

    •After a red-hot start to the month, Aaron Altherr has cooled off over the last week, hitting just .231 with more strikeouts (five) than RBI (four).