DENVER -- Padres manager Buddy Black, who started 296 games in the Majors, sees the benefits of the Rockies curious four-man starting rotation. "[The other team] has to be prepared for the reliever," Black said. "If you have a heavy right-handed lineup against a left-handed pitcher, then before you know it you've got a right-handed pitcher in behind him. Those matchups might not come in play as much if they're using four to five guys a night." The exact situation was a possibility on Friday for the Rockies, who started lefty Jeff Francis. After Francis' 75 pitches are thrown -- each of Colorado's four starters are on a 75-pitch count -- then right-handed Tyler Chatwood is expected to come in.
Since going to the four-man rotation on June 19, the Rockies were 4-6 entering Friday's game, with an ERA of 5.99 -- a shade better than the full-season 6.53 mark for all Colorado starters. "The Rockies know their personnel better than anybody," Black said. "I'm sure they thought this out and thought it was the best thing to do for their club."