With Jason Hirsh's rehab going... not so good and the ever-shifting Plan for Taylor Buchholz swinging back to bullpen duty, again, the Rockies' top starting prospect Ubaldo Jimenez will get the ball tonight with Colorado beginning a four-game series in Washington. I told you the Rockies had to have a winning road trip before I'd take them seriously as contenders, and with a sweep against the Pirates already in the bank, they'd have to generate a complete disaster against the hapless Nationals in order not to do it. (They started the swing winning 1 of 3 in Milwaukee, so only a sweep or 1-3 series against Washington will ruin the trip.)
The Rockies need another starter, badly, and realistically they can't expect to be players in a trade market that is setting up to be brutally competitive. If Jimenez pitches effectively -- he's been inconsistent for AAA Colorado Springs, but the Rockies believe he's figured things out as of his last couple of starts -- that changes the complexion of the second half for Colorado rather dramatically. So, if you ever were going to watch a Rockies game, this would be a good one to watch.