Rockies' Freeland seeks return to form against Diamondbacks
Kyle Freeland's return to the Colorado Rockies rotation on Monday in Milwaukee didn't go as well as expected. The left-hander is hoping for a better outing when he faces the Arizona Diamondbacks in Denver on Saturday night.
Arizona won the first game of the series, 10-9, on Friday night.
Freeland, the ace of the staff - that status is being pushed by the arm of German Marquez, however - allowed five runs on six hits in six innings in a loss to the Brewers on Monday. It was his first start in 11 days after going on the 10-day injured list with a blister on his pitching hand.
The upside is that after giving up four runs in the first inning, he settled down and retired the last 10 batters he faced.
"My location wasn't there like it usually is," Freeland said after the loss to Milwaukee. "They weren't really cueing on fastballs in. They were laying off them pretty well. I know this team wants (the) fastball out and over. They weren't cueing on stuff inside so we had to start mixing it up and I started missing in the middle of the zone and they were tagging it."
The left-hander is 2-4 with a 4.81 ERA, but that shouldn't worry Colorado fans. He got off to a slow start last season but finished with 17 wins and was strong down the stretch when the Rockies clinched a berth in the NL wild-card game.
He started that extra-inning win against the Chicago Cubs but didn't get a chance to pitch in the divisional series against Milwaukee. He gets a familiar foe Saturday in the Diamondbacks.
Freeland has eight starts against Arizona in his first two years in the majors, with four coming at Chase Field and four at Coors Field. Freeland is 3-2 with a 3.80 ERA in his career against the Diamondbacks. He has allowed more runs (11) at home than in Arizona (seven).
Freeland will go against right-hander Luke Weaver. Weaver spent his first two-plus seasons with St. Louis and went to Arizona in the December trade that sent Paul Goldschmidt to the Cardinals. Weaver (2-1, 3.73 ERA) has pitched well in his six starts for his new team but is coming off his shortest start of the season.
He allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Cubs on Monday and struck out five. He is averaging six strikeouts per game on the season.
Despite Weaver's struggles in that game, Arizona manager Tony Lovullo likes what he has seen from the 25-year-old pitcher.
"There's a lot of horsepower in that fastball," Lovullo said after one of Weaver's recent starts. "There's more than that, though. He can climb it and bring it up to the top of the zone, he can drive it to the bottom, both sides."
Weaver faced the Rockies three times when he was with St. Louis, two of them starts. He is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA against Colorado, with most of that big number coming in his one start at Coors Field. He lasted just two innings on Sept. 21, 2016, and gave up six runs on seven hits.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 4, 2019