6/20/2014 9:21 P.M. ET
Brewers hope Coors Field will ignite scuffling Reynolds
By Cody Ulm / MLB.com
DENVER -- With Mark Reynolds rooted in a lengthy slump and Lyle Overbay making his second straight start on Friday against Colorado righty Christian Bergman, it's natural to speculate that the veteran may be gaining the upper hand in the Brewers' first base platoon. Manager Ron Roenicke is here to remind everyone that isn't the case.
"Yes, it has something to do with how they're swinging the bat, but it's more matchups," said Roenicke. "We [are facing] two left-handers the next two days and I knew Mark would be playing those two days."
With the Rockies trotting out two southpaws Saturday and Sunday in Christian Friedrich and Tyler Matzek, the right-handed hitting Reynolds will try to snap out of a funk that has seen him strike out nine times and collect just four hits in his last 36 at-bats.
Of course, Roenicke is well aware that Reynolds is prone to that sort of streakiness, but he's hoping the gaps of Coors Field can be a cure for the sluggers' woes.
"That's been his career," said Roenicke. "But when you get into a ballpark like this and he hits a couple in the air, things can turn around in a hurry."
In 105 lifetime at-bats at Coors Field, Reynolds has hit eight home runs and six doubles, each his highest totals in any road ballpark. Reynolds has also hit .267 with 20 RBIs in the Mile High City.
On the season, Reynolds is hitting .157 against lefties in 51 at-bats. His platoon mate Overbay has almost exclusively been limited to right-handed pitching, but has been heating up as of late, hitting .333 with three doubles and eight RBIs in 30 at-bats this month.
High-powered Rox a worthy test for Crew
DENVER -- Playing half of their games in the hitter friendly confines of Miller Park, the Brewers don't consider the Coors Field altitude to be a test for the their pitching staff.
What will be the true measuring stick for the rotation in manager Ron Roenicke's opinion is the Rockies' lineup, which owns the best average in the Majors at .281.
"I think their offense is the test," said Roenicke. "I believe they've got some guys hurt, but it's still a great offense. If you're going to succeed and you're going to be a top notch pitcher, you've got to be able to shut down some big offenses."
The Brewers enter the series tied with the Braves for the Major League lead in quality starts at 50 and they haven't had a pitcher issue a walk in the past two games. If the Brewers' staff continues at their current pace, they'll finish the season with 109 quality starts, nine more than their 2011 rotation had when it tied the franchise record of 98.
But then again, Milwaukee has had the luxury of avoiding Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki up until now.
Tulowitzki is hitting .404 (55-for-136) with 13 doubles, 12 home runs, 32 RBIs and 30 runs against the Brewers since entering the league in 2007. That average is the highest in the Majors among batters who have had a minimum of 135 at-bats against Milwaukee.
Numbers like that aren't lost on Roenicke, who considers Tulowitzki's approach at the plate to be one of the finest in all of baseball.
"Tulowitzki has got the stats," said Roenicke. "If you look at Tulowitzki's walks and strikeouts, they're almost the same, which is very rare in today's game. With him not chasing a lot of pitches, [it] helps him to be a consistent hitter."
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.