In typical 2021 Rockies fashion, they earned the win at home to stop a three-game skid. The lineup combined to go 5-for-30 and Yonathan Daza was the only Rockie to notch multiple hits, but it proved to be enough as the Rox blanked the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-0.
Kyle Freeland, Opening Day 2.0 MVP
Kyle Freeland had another stellar outing, only allowing three hits through five innings. He also struck out seven for the second-consecutive game, but allowed two free passes — one walk and one hit-by-pitch. After getting lit up for 5+ hits in each of his first three June outings, Freeland has only allowed one run and struck out 14 in his last 11 innings. Today’s performance was enough to earn him his first Rockies’ MVP chain.
Not only was he pitching well, but Freeland had a great outing on the base paths. In the third and fifth, he bunted and was able to reach first — once on a base hit in the third and the second time on an error by Pirates starter Tyler Anderson in the fifth. Unfortunately, while he was running from first to third in that fifth inning, he appeared to injure his leg and was removed from the game after 79 pitches. Luckily, it appears that Freeland was removed with a “just a cramp.”
Yonathan Daza continues to dazzle on both sides of the ball
Yonathan Daza has become quite the “two punch” to Raimel Tapia’s “one punch.” The Rockies’ two-hole hitter had another stellar day today, recording an RBI triple in the third and a double in the fifth (and was unfortunately stranded when Charlie Blackmon struck out with the bases loaded to end that inning). Daza also had this spectacular catch in the eighth:
In June, Daza is slashing .330/.371/.429 with four doubles, a triple, a home run, and 13 RBI. He has also walked five times and struck out 18 times (19.8%).
No bullpen drama today
The bullpen has been volatile for the Rockies in 2021, but not today. The only bullpen drama was when Daniel Bard’s gray glove was confiscated, but luckily it didn’t affect him outside of a slight delay to start the ninth. Here’s more on the glove color rule:
After Kyle Freeland was lifted in the fifth, the bullpen combined for four scoreless innings. Carlos Estévez was the only one of the four not to allow a hit, and none of them yielded a walk. Tyler Kinley, Jhoulys Chacín and Estévez all earned holds (numbers 4, 2 and 6, respectively) and Daniel Bard earned his 11th save.
The Rockies will continue their three-game set against the Bucs. Germán Márquez is scheduled to pitch against Pirates’ righty Chase De Jong. First pitch is at 6:40pm MDT.