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Colorado Rockies game no. 63 thread: Chi Chi González vs. Trevor Rogers

Rogers, reigning NL Rookie of the Month, stands in the way of a series victory; Trevor Story returns from IL

The Colorado Rockies have not won a series in Miami since 2013. They have a chance to do so in tonight’s rubber match, but standing in the way is one of the hottest arms in the league.

Trevor Rogers earned himself NL Rookie of the Month honors in May, and his 1.97 ERA on the year is fifth-best in all of baseball among qualified starters. This is not exactly the guy you want to face with a series win on the line; the Rockies have never seen him before and in 11 of his 12 starts this year, he’s allowed two runs or fewer.

Rogers will mix about 60 percent fastballs and his preferred weapon for strikeouts is often his changeup. He has gradually increased his changeup use since the beginning of the year and while he will show a slider, he has thrown it far less from 2020 to 2021 (21.8 to 15.2 percent). His fastball spin ranks in the 68th percentile, and he holds a near-average walk and hard hit percentage; despite all of this, his has dominated atop the league with few signs of slowing down. Rogers’ BABIP (.294) is highest among anybody in the ERA top 10, so he could be pitching even better than his ERA suggests. (He also features a 3.44 xFIP, so this could go the other way.)

Jon Gray was placed on the injured list last week (right flexor), or else he would be on the mound this evening. Chi Chi González will instead take his place, and will again cover for an injured starter. He filled in for a recovering Kyle Freeland up until late May, and González was subsequently moved to the bullpen where he has allowed five earned runs in his last two relief outings (6 23 IP). González has thrown a mere 115 pitches in the last 21 days, so his rhythm has been disrupted.

If there is any silver lining to make out of the Jon Gray injury, perhaps the comforts of starting again will help González return to his strong early-season form. He had the second-best ERA among qualified Rockies starters on May 7.

Trevor Story has been reinstated from the injured list and will bat fourth this evening. His last game was on May 27 against the Mets.

Start Time: 5:10 p.m. MDT

TV: AT&T Sportsnet (COL), Visitor TV feed (VIS)

Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)