So let’s get this straight... What we have here is a meaningful interleague game, between two sub-.500 teams, in September? As if 2020 couldn’t get any weirder — but bring it on!
After trading last-at-bat blows over the past two nights, the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Angels square off this afternoon in the rubber game of a three-game series at Coors Field — a series that has become surprisingly important for both clubs, thanks to the expanded MLB playoffs. If the season were to end today, the Rockies (21-24) and Angels (19-28) would both find themselves on the outside looking in of the 16-team playoff field. The Rockies sit 1 1⁄2 games behind the Marlins (21-21) for the final National League playoff spot, and the Angels are 4 1⁄2 games out of eighth place in the American League.
But Colorado will have to do it without its All-Star third baseman. Nolan Arenado is out of the starting lineup because of a shoulder injury, according to Nick Groke of The Athletic.
Nolan Arenado is suffering a left shoulder injury, in the AC joint, and is not in the Rockies' lineup today. It has affected him the past two days. They are hoping to keep him off the IL, but "we'll see about Tuesday," Bud Black said.— Nick Groke (@nickgroke) September 13, 2020
Ryan McMahon will start at third in his place. Arenado, who is batting .261 with a .772 OPS this year, watched his six-game hitting streak come to an end Saturday after going 0-for-5 against the Angels.
Ryan Castellani (1-2, 5.34) takes the ball for Colorado, and the rookie left-hander will hope to improve upon his struggles at Coors Field so far. In three home appearances (one was in relief) this season, Castellani is 0-2 with a 6.91 ERA. In his most recent outing — against the Dodgers last Sunday in L.A. — Castellani gave up four earned runs over 4 1⁄3 innings.
Andrew Heaney (3-3, 4.04) will start for the Angels. The lefty has pitched well this season, but he’s suffered from lack of run support in his starts. Heaney has only made two starts against Colorado in his career — both at Coors Field — and he’s been impressive. He is 1-1 against the Rockies with a 2.70 ERA (four earned runs over 13 1⁄3 innings).
Start Time: 1:10 p.m. MT
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain, MLB.tv
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)