Five years ago, the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks faced off in the National League wild-card game, a matchup that seemed to signify the rise of two franchises in the NL West.
Instead, that was the last time both teams reached the postseason in the same year. Arizona won that game butdidn't make it past the divisional round and hasn't been back to the playoffs, and Colorado won the wild card in 2018 but has finished with a losing record the past three years.
The two teams, who finished in the bottom of the NL West the past two seasons, aren't on pace to break the trend this year, either. The Diamondbacks sit fourth and the Rockies fifth, separated by 2 1/2 games. as the teams open a three-game weekend series in Denver on Friday night.
Arizona will send Zach Davies (2-4, 4.03 ERA) against Colorado's Antonio Senzatela (3-6, 4.68) in a battle of righties on Friday night.
Both teams are coming off victories on Thursday. The Rockies held on to beat St. Louis, 8-6, and the Diamondbacks defeated Pittsburgh, 9-3.
It will be Davies' second straight start against Colorado. He came off the injured list to face the Rockies in Arizona on Sunday but didn't get a decision in the Diamondbacks' win. He went five shutout innings and struck out three in his second outing since June 25.
He spent five weeks on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation. He returned on Aug. 1 and pitched two innings.
Davies will benefit from having faced Colorado's lineup, especially if he follows the same approach as Sunday.
"Just kind of recognized their approach for the day and tried to work around that," Davies said of his start. "It was leaving everything down in the zone alone and staying off-speed pitches. So tried to work to combat that and got better results and was able to flip the script from letting guys get comfortable in the box."
In 11 career starts against the Rockies, Davies is 4-3 with a 3.61 ERA.
Senzatela is also making his second straight start against the same opponent, and it also came in a victory. He was impressive in allowing just two runs over seven innings on Saturday but didn't get the decision.
Senzatela is 3-9 with a 5.80 ERA in 20 career games (16 starts) against the Diamondbacks.
Saturday's win, Colorado's only one of the three-game series, came after Ryan McMahon's homer in the ninth inning broke a tie.
McMahon had a more impressive home run against St. Louis on Tuesday night, launching a shot 495 feet. It was a highlight in what has been a somewhat disappointing season for the third baseman. He is hitting .243 after homering in Thursday's game, giving 12 this season after launching 24 and 23, respectively, in the past two full seasons.
He signed a six-year contract extension worth $70 million in the offseason but hasn't found a consistent groove this year.
"This game is very humbling," he said. "I'm going to keep going."
--Field Level Media