The Colorado Rockies got off to a flying start to the shortened 2020 season, going 12-5 in their first 17 games. Things haven’t gone well since, and Colorado finds itself struggling to keep pace in the expanded playoff race.
With a tough six-game road trip through Los Angeles and San Diego coming up, the Rockies (17-19) are looking for some momentum to conclude a six-game homestand.
They’ve lost four of the first five, including a 23-5 demolition delivered by the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night. The teams wrap up a two-game set Wednesday afternoon.
Colorado will send lefty Kyle Freeland (2-1, 3.43 ERA) against right-hander Logan Webb (2-3, 4.35) in the last meeting between the teams in Denver this season.
Freeland is coming off his shortest start of the season, lasting just 4 1/3 innings in a loss to the San Diego Padres on Friday. Freeland s 6-3 with a 3.21 ERA in 13 career starts against the Giants (18-19). In eight starts against San Francisco at home, he has gone 5-1 with a 3.38 ERA.
In four starts at Coors Field this season, he is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA, and the Rockies will need him to give them some innings after Tuesday’s starter, Jon Gray, didn’t get out of the third inning. Just as important is the lack of offense by Colorado the last three games.
The Rockies bolstered their offense with the acquisition of outfielder Kevin Pillar from the Boston Red Sox on Monday, and he made his Colorado debut on Tuesday. Pillar, who was with the Giants in 2019, said the familiarity helps.
“It makes it a little easier when you come to a team in the division you were in last year,” he said Tuesday, when he went 0-for-3. “I don’t have to do anything crazy to make myself comfortable here. These guys got an opportunity to watch me play 17 times last year. It gives me a little bit of comfort, not trying to stress or put too much pressure on myself to try to go out Day 1 and be a hero.”
Webb will make his second start of the season, and also the second of his short career against the Rockies. In his Aug. 5 outing in Denver, he got the win when he gave up just two runs (one earned) on four hits and struck out four in five innings.
Webb is coming off a rough start against the Dodgers when he allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings in a 7-0 loss in San Francisco on Thursday.
The Giants have rallied from a slow start to win 10 of their past 13. San Francisco bolstered its bullpen by acquiring left-hander Anthony Banda from the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday at the trade deadline. The Giants still trail the Dodgers and surging Padres but are in contention for the playoffs.
“We were really not that aggressively pursuing pure buy-sell type deals,” San Francisco president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said. “We were looking to make our team better, looking to target players that we liked as long-term pieces of the puzzle, and nothing materialized, maybe because our situation was a little more nuanced.”
–Field Level Media