Phillies face the Rockies
Vince Velasquez will take to the mound on Friday evening as the Phillies open a weekend set against the Rockies at Coors Field. 

The Phillies had an off day on Thursday after beating the Giants on Wednesday night, 6-5. Velasquez is starting tonight in place of Matt Moore who is sidelined because of COVID-19 protocol. Velasquez has surrendered four runs in four innings of relief this season, though he does have nine strikeouts. 

"I need to be better," Velasquez said last week. 

The Rockies counter with right-hander German Marquez. The 26-year-old pitched extremely well in his last outing, a seven inning complete-game performance against the Mets. Through four starts, he's 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA. 

The Rockies enter play Friday with the worst record in the National League at 6-12, 7 1/2 games behind the division-leading Dodgers in the NL West. The club was swept early this week in a two-game set with the Astros. 

Spencer Impresses 
Spencer Howard looked sharp on Wednesday, tossing 1 1/3 scoreless innings to help the Phils avoid a sweep. He's a pivotal arm right now for the club as the back-end of the starting rotation is starting to look worrisome. If Velasquez falters tonight, it's entirely possible - if not likely - that Spencer becomes the next arm to fill a slot when it becomes available in the rotation, either due to injury or otherwise. 

“At this point, I want innings wherever they are," Howard said earlier this week. "Starting or relief, I’m just looking for innings.” 

Odds & Weather 
The Rockies are favored at -123 with the over/under set at 10 1/2 runs. The Phillies are 1-7 in their last eight meetings in Colorado. The weather looks to be cool with temps hovering near 50 degrees. There will be some showers around, but nothing that should hinder the game. 
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Follow Patrick on Twitter: @PGordonPBR

BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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