Sometimes, life can be pretty ironic.
Jair Jurrjens, who was acquired in a trade only two days ago, has been promoted to the starting pitcher of tonight's game. That's not the ironic part, though.
While this will be Jurrjens first start in over a year, he's going against Los Angeles Dodgers' pitching great Clayton Kershaw.
For Jurrjens, the road has been long and bumpy. The right-hander started his career with the Detroit Tigers and enjoyed his most successful pitching with the Atlanta Braves from 2008-2011. During that stretch, Jurrjens won 13-plus games three or more times, even making it to the All-Star Game in 2011. His record during that career-best season was 13-6, with a stellar 2.96 ERA.
But he went only 3-4 in 2012 with Atlanta and then moved onto Baltimore, earning only three starts in 2013 due to a rash of injuries. This season he's gone 2-3 with a 4.46 ERA with Triple-A Louisville before being traded to the Rockies.
Now he faces Kershaw, who not only is 9-2, but is also working with a stellar 2.04 ERA. That was lowered the last time he pitched against the Rockies, where Kershaw threw a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts. It would have been a perfect game, minus an error by a teammate; he was in complete control of Colorado’s batters.
And what will make it even more difficult for Jurrjens to beat Kershaw is the fact that the Rockies are struggling mightily as of late. They've gone 2-15 over their last 17 games, a stretch that includes a sweep at the hands of the Dodgers, who are now leading the NL West. Colorado is now in fourth place in the division, sitting at 36-50, 12 games back of LA.
But, at least the Rockies will have Nolan Arenado, their starting third baseman who broke a finger on May 23 against the Braves.
Coors Field will be packed to watch Jurrjens return to the majors against Kershaw, as tonight is one of two straight fireworks games. Coors regularly puts on one of the top fireworks displays in Colorado, and the team invites the left field fans onto the outfield to watch, too. The game's first pitch is scheduled for 6:10, with fireworks following the NL West contest.