Austin Gomber came to Colorado with plenty of pressure. The lefty was the big name in the trade that sent Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals, a deal that was unpopular with Rockies fans.
After a tough start to his career with his new team, Gomber has been one of the better pitchers in the National League. He’s not only run off a string of quality starts, he appears to have tamed hitter-friendly Coors Field.
He will get another home start when Colorado hosts the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night in the third of a four-game weekend series. The Rockies have won the first two games, including 6-5 in 10 innings on Friday night.
Gomber (6-5, 3.54 ERA) will face Milwaukee right-hander Adrian Houser (4-5, 3.62) on Saturday.
Gomber is 3-1 at home where he hasn’t allowed an earned run in 23 1/3 innings. In his last outing, Monday against San Diego, he held the Padres to three hits and didn’t walk a batter in eight shutout innings. Gomber has walked just four in his past nine starts.
“He’s settled in, he’s become more comfortable, and he’s not overly trying to impress all of us,” Rockies manager Bud Black said after Gomber’s last outing. “Early on, once he got settled into spring training and once we started the regular season, he tried too hard. Now I think he’s got it together with a calmness and poise on the mental side, which is awesome. On the pitching side there was a tweak on his delivery.”
Gomber will make his fifth career appearance and third start against the Brewers. He is 0-1 with a 6.23 ERA in his previous four outings against them.
Houser is following two of Milwaukee’s best pitchers in this series. Brandon Woodruff was hit hard in the opener, and Corbin Burnes was knocked out in the sixth inning Friday night.
Houser is making his 13 start of the season, and the team is 7-5 in his starts. He has two quality starts and is holding opponents to a .245 batting average. His only career outing against the Rockies came in a start on Sept. 29, 2019, at Coors Field, when he allowed no runs in four innings and did not figure into the decision.
The Brewers have been getting good pitching, but their offense has been struggling, and part of the reason has been injuries.
Outfielder Lorenzo Cain (strained right hamstring), third baseman Travis Shaw (dislocated left shoulder) and outfielder Tyrone Taylor (right shoulder) are on the injured list, but Milwaukee did get second baseman Kolten Wong back Friday.
Wong batted leadoff and went 1-for-5 in Friday’s 6-5 loss.
“Look, we lost four contributors to our position player group,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “You’re going to start paying a price for it. Kolten, he’s in there every day when he’s going. (When he’s hurt), that’s a big loss. And he’s at the top of the lineup. It changes (Luis Urias’) sport in the lineup. Yeah, it’s been a loss, for sure. His defense is as good as there is.”
–Field Level Media