Major League Baseball
Preview
Colorado at Philadelphia
When: 1:05 PM ET, Thursday, May 25, 2017
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Right-hander Vince Velasquez was 8-2 at the All-Star break last year before going winless over his last nine starts and he has carried those struggles into this season. Velasquez will try to break out of his funk when the skidding Philadelphia Phillies attempt to avoid a four-game sweep against the visiting Colorado Rockies on Thursday.

"I'm just clueless right now. I'm just running like a chicken without a head," Velasquez said after his last start at Pittsburgh. At the opposite end of the spectrum from Velasquez is Colorado leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon, who boosted his major league-leading RBI total to 42 with a two-run single to ignite a seven-run third inning in Wednesday's 7-2 victory. Carlos Gonzalez added a three-run blast to extend his hitting streak to seven games as the National League-best Rockies improved to 18-7 on the road, the best record in baseball. Philadelphia has scored eight runs during its five-game skid and is alone in the basement in the NL East in the wake of losing 20 of 24.

TV: 1:05 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia

PITCHING MATCHUP: Rockies LH Tyler Anderson (3-4, 6.00 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Vince Velasquez (2-4, 5.98)

Anderson is starting to find a groove after an ugly start in which he surrendered at least four runs in each of his first six turns. He has put together three straight solid outings, permitting a combined six runs while striking out 25 over 17 2/3 innings. Cesar Hernandez (4-for-5) and Tommy Joseph (3-for-4) have fared well against Anderson, who is 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA versus the Phillies.

Velasquez is 0-2 over his last three outings after giving up five runs on seven hits over 5 1/3 innings to the Pirates. He did not factor in the decision in his previous turn, a five-inning stint in which he allowed three runs (two earned) at Washington. Blackmon is 3-for-5 and Gonzalez 3-for-6 with a homer off Velazquez, who tossed six innings of two-run ball versus Colorado in 2016.

WALK-OFFS

1. Blackmon is 12-for-25 with seven homers and 14 RBIs in his last seven games at Citizens Bank Park.

2. Philadelphia's starting rotation owns a dismal 6.39 ERA this month.

3. Gonzalez is 8-for-14 in the series and has scored in six consecutive games.

PREDICTION: Rockies 6, Phillies 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Colorado 30-17 W3 13-10 17-7 3-3 7-3 18-10 2-1
Philadelphia 15-28 L4 8-10 7-18 12-11 3-7 0-5 0-5
Last Meeting
Colorado Philadelphia
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
5/23/17 COL 8 PHI 2 .303 3 .949 .235 1 .669
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Colorado A. Amarista .625 5 1.250
Philadelphia A. Altherr .500 4 1.250
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Colorado C. Blackmon 2 4 7
Philadelphia A. Knapp 1 1 1
Pitching ERA Avg K
Colorado 1.50 .329 19
Philadelphia 7.00 .172 15
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Colorado C. Blackmon .325 62 .979
Philadelphia C. Hernandez .287 51 .757
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Colorado N. Arenado 12 31 32
Philadelphia A. Altherr 8 24 25
Pitching ERA Avg K
Colorado 4.24 .265 373
Philadelphia 4.88 .250 301