Sometimes a team has your number. The Colorado Rockies certainly understand that when they face the Atlanta Braves.
Colorado has lost all six games between the teams this season, eight straight overall and 12 of the past 13. The Rockies get one more chance to break through when they host Atlanta on Wednesday night to wrap up a three-game series.
Colorado will send lefty Kyle Freeland (5-13, 5.00 ERA) to the mound while the Braves will counter with Darius Vines, who will make his major league debut.
Freeland has had a forgettable season but has taken the ball when it is his turn. Wednesday night will be his 26th start of the season, and he could be the only pitcher who began the season in the rotation left at this point.
Austin Gomber left Monday’s game with back tightness, and while it isn’t considered serious, it’s possible he skips his next start.
Freeland has faced Atlanta seven times in his career, all starts, and is 1-3 with a 5.80 ERA. The Braves, who have the best record in baseball, beat him on June 15 in their home ballpark when he allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Losing to the Braves has become familiar for the Rockies. Atlanta has taken the first two games of this series by a combined score of 17-5 but managed just three runs on 15 hits in Tuesday’s 3-1 win.
Colorado played the Braves tough Tuesday after getting routed on Monday night.
“It doesn’t surprise me. This team has great resiliency, they’re a bunch of young guys with some older guys sprinkled in,” Rockies manager Bud Black said after Tuesday’s loss. “These guys turn the page on a good win or a tough loss. Every day is a test, every day they’re out to prove something. Never have a worry there, the coaching staff and I, about them coming to play.”
Vines didn’t pitch this season until the end of June due to shoulder inflammation and has gone 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA in nine starts over three levels of the minors since getting activated.
He was recalled Monday to provide bullpen depth, but manager Brian Snitker opted to let him debut at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
And the 25-year-old will have a tough act to follow.
Veteran Charlie Morton, who earned his 14th win of the season on Tuesday night, turned in an outing to remember. According to MLB.com, he became just the fourth pitcher age 39 or older to allow no more that one run and three hits in at least six innings at Coors Field in Denver.
The others? Hall of Fame members Randy Johnson (2007), Greg Maddux (2007 and ‘08) and Tom Glavine (2008).
“They’re legends,” Morton said. “I’m just the guy who has figured things out over the last six or seven years.”
–Field Level Media