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Rockies prospect Kyle Freeland pitched well on Wednesday despite rough line

Lefty prospect's final line looks a bit rough on a night when he threw the ball well for Albuquerque

Kyle Freeland threw well despite allowing six runs, four earned, in seven innings for the Isotopes.
Kyle Freeland threw well despite allowing six runs, four earned, in seven innings for the Isotopes.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Freeland went out and had a good/bad start for the Albuquerque Isotopes on Wednesday night in a 6-4 loss to the El Paso Chihuahuas.

He was efficient and threw strikes, which was good. In fact, he threw 60 of 83 pitches for strikes in his seven innings. Freeland did not walk a batter and struck out four.

"He pitched very well," said acting manager John Shelby. "He battled, he threw the ball well, made some good pitches, kept us in the ballgame."

On the other hand, he allowed six runs, four earned, on 10 hits. Much of that, though, had to deal with the double whammy of some uncharacteristically shaky Isotopes defense and, as always, the issue of leaving balls up at high altitude.

For Freeland, it was just weird outing.

"It definitely was, I felt like I pitched well tonight but like when I was talking with our pitching coach (Darryl Scott) you could count the mistakes I made on one hand and they took advantage of that," Freeland said. "Some things fell their way and others went our way. That’s kind of how things went tonight."

The unlucky inning was the fourth. With a runner on second and one out, Austin Hedges tied the game with an RBI single. Freeland struck out Jabari Blash, but then came the bad luck moment. Alexi Amarista singled into right field, only for Mike Tauchman to overrun the ball for what would become a three-base error as Amarista scampered home with a Little League home run.

"It was mostly a mistake by me leaving a pitch left up in the zone, whether it be a fastball or a slider up in the zone," Freeland said, deflecting any blame from his teammates. "Other than that, every pitch I threw I was committed to, I was throwing with my heart. Even when you do that, you sometimes leave some pitches up and they took advantage of that."

Freeland had already recorded four deep flyball outs when his luck with those ran out in the sixth. Hedges smacked an RBI double off the hill in center field, which David Dahl has yet to master, and Amarista would add a sacrifice fly to make it 5-3 in favor of the Chihuahuas.

"They know how to hit, that’s for sure, and I was told that coming up here, a lot of the fields are launching pads and a lot of the teams can hit really well," Freeland said of Triple-A hitters. "It’s when you’ve really got to turn it on and your focus has to be on another level."

Freeland did have his fair share of good innings to counter the two rough ones. He got a double play and a strikeout to end the first after giving up a leadoff single to Manuel Margot. After Hedges reached on an error to start the second, Freeland retired three in a row on two flyouts and a groundout. He followed that with a perfect third inning.

"You’ve just got to be focused on the next pitch," Freeland said of his mound mentality. "That’s the biggest thing, whenever there’s a mistake in the field or something bleeds and gets out, you’ve just got be focused on that next pitch, keep the ball on the ground and get the out quickly."

Freeland did shine at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.

"I feel good," Freeland said with a smile. "As a pitcher they expect you to do your job while you’re up there. I feel comfortable in the box and when I see a pitch I can handle I’m going to attack it and see what I can do with it."

The Isotopes will play four games in three days at Las Vegas to close out the first half. Their next home game is July 14 against Memphis.

Around the Lab

  • Shelby will fill in as manager through Thursday as Glenallen Hill is away due to a personal matter.
  • Center fielder David Dahl went 4-for-5 with two RBI to continue his torrid start for the Isotopes. The Rockies’ top prospect has gone 10-for-15 in three games. "There’s not too much that he hasn’t done and it’s only the third time I’ve seen him," Shelby said. "For coming in and doing what he’s doing, I don’t think we could ask for anything more than that. It’s been — I won’t say it’s a surprise — but it’s been very good to see him be as successful as he is."
  • Prior to the contest, Dahl talked about his appointment to the All-Star Futures Game as an injury replacement for Pirates prospect Austin Meadows. "Yeah, I was really surprised to hear about that when G Hill told me," Dahl said. "It’s an honor to named there to represent my country and the Rockies. It’s going to be real fun. I’m really looking forward to going."