After years of making the Opening Day start a competition that has lasted through camp -- and at times created hard feelings -- the Rockies come into 2008 with a clear No. 1 -- left-hander Jeff Francis. Since breaking in with the Rockies in late 2004, Francis is 47-34 wih a 4.22 ERA.
The bullpen figures to be a strength, with hard-throwing right-hander Luis Vizcaino -- signed to a two-year, $7.5 million deal this offseason after pitching for the Yankees in 2007 -- and left-handed three-time All-Star Brian Fuentes setting up closer Manny Corpas.
COL: LHP Jeff Francis (17-9, 4.22 ERA in 2007)
Francis has pitched well in St. Louis and against the Cardinals, and is cool enough to handle the Opening Day pomp at Busch Stadium.
STL: RHP Adam Wainwright (14-12, 3.70 ERA)
A new contract for four years, with a two-year club option, is an indication that Wainwright is the key to the club's pitching future.
Francis has been dominant against the Cards, partly because he's quite smart about facing star Albert Pujols, who owns a .333 average with a double against him. So Francis simply avoids Pujols, having walked him six times in 15 plate appearances.
On the Internet
Official game notes
FSN Rocky Mountain
KOA 850 AM, JOSE 1090 AM (Español)
Wednesday: Rockies (Aaron Cook, 8-7, 4.12) at Cardinals (Todd Wellemeyer, 3-3, 4.54), 6:15 p.m. MT
Thursday: Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 4-4, 4.28) at Cardinals (Brad Thompson, 8-6, 4.73), 11:15 a.m. MT
Friday: Diamondbacks (Doug Davis, 13-12, 4.25) at Rockies (Mark Redman, 2-4, 7.62), 2:05 p.m. MT (Rockies home opener)