(Sports Network) - With the playoffs no longer a possibility, the Colorado Rockies could use the season's final five games to further evaluate their collection of young talent. One of those promising prospects will take the mound in this afternoon's finale of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers from Coors Field.
Colorado's Jhoulys Chacin has already done a good job establishing himself as a big leaguer, as the 22-year-old has amassed a 4-1 record and a sensational 1.20 ERA over his past seven assignments. The lone loss during that stretch occurred on Friday against NL West-leading San Francisco, though he did pitch well again that night.
Chacin shut the Giants out over the game's first six innings before giving up a two-run homer to Pat Burrell in the seventh that resulted in a 2-1 Rockies' setback. He permitted just three hits against San Francisco and fanned eight, bringing his season total to 131 strikeouts in 132 1/3 innings pitched.
The native Venezuelan dominated Los Angeles in his previous start, a September 18 victory at Dodger Stadium in which he scattered nine hits through eight shutout innings. Chacin also topped LA in Coors Field back on August 28 after allowing just one run and four hits while striking out seven in seven frames.
He's faced the Dodgers six times -- five as a starter -- over his brief major- league tenure and is 3-2 with a 2.73 ERA in those games.
Chacin will be attempting to enable the Rockies to avert a sweep at the hands of Los Angeles, as the Dodgers backed up Monday's 3-1 triumph with a wild 9-7 win last night. Rafael Furcal broke a tie game in the top of the eighth inning with his second RBI triple of the game, while the Dodgers belted four home runs while pounding out 14 hits.
Casey Blake had a pair of solo homers and Matt Kemp drilled a two-run shot during a big third inning in which the Dodgers scored five times. James Loney added a solo blast later on for Los Angeles, which prevailed despite wasting a 6-2 lead after 6 1/2 innings.
The Rockies used a power surge of their own to storm back, with Todd Helton and Dexter Fowler each swatting two-run homers in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score at 6-6. Fowler finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored on the night, while Helton and Carlos Gonzalez each collected two hits and knocked in a pair of runs.
Blake's second homer of the game gave Los Angeles a 9-7 edge heading into the bottom of the ninth, when rookie Kenley Jansen retired three straight Colorado hitters after surrendering a leadoff single to pick up his third save of the year.
"He made sure the first guy got a hit in the ninth, so he could go through the three and four hitters, which I thought was good for him and not good for us," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre of Jansen. "But he did a hell of a job."
The loss was the Rockies' third in a row and eighth in nine games, and officially eliminated them from postseason consideration.
"There are teams out there that know at midseason they're not going to be in the playoffs," said outfielder Seth Smith. "But this team's different. We've got a great group of guys that we could go far in the playoffs with. So it's very disappointing we're not going to be in the postseason."
Los Angeles had initially slated to hand the ball to Clayton Kershaw tonight, but has since decided to shut down the talented hurler for the remainder of the season with the team out of contention. Swingman Carlos Monasterios will instead pitch in his place.
Monasterios has made 12 starts for the Dodgers during his rookie campaign, but has spent the past month pitching out of the bullpen. In 31 appearances for the year, the Rule 5 draft pick is 3-5 with a 4.09 ERA.
The 24-year-old right-hander started against the Rockies at Coors Field on May 28 and was able to come away with a victory after yielding four runs -- two earned -- in five innings. Monasterios has also faced Colorado twice in relief this season.
Los Angeles has won 10 of 17 overall meetings with the Rockies this season, including five of eight tilts held in Denver.