Following a doubleheader in Chicago, the Rockies were in need of a day off. After their rest, they now arrive in the City of Angels to do battle with the Los Angeles Dodgers in game one of their three-game set.
Starting for the Rockies will be right fielder Kyle Freeland (4-6, 4.25 ERA). Following his odd — and fun! — appearance in Wednesday night’s victory, the Colorado native will return to his favored position in LA. These late start games can be tough for Rockies fans, but Freeland probably relishes them; in 12 night game starts, he owns a 3.76 ERA, in contrast to a 6.11 ERA in four starts when the sun is up.
Hopefully he can use the nighttime air to keep the ball in the park against the strong LA lineup that’s hurt him in the past - in his 14 starts against the Dodgers, Freeland owns a 2-7 record with a 4.14 ERA.
The Dodgers, still chasing the San Francisco Giants for first place in the strong National League West division, will counter with Brusdar Graterol (3-0, 3.54 ERA). He’ll be starting the game (his first start of the season), but Los Angeles will more than likely utilize a bullpen strategy, including using Andre Jackson (who was called up from Triple-A Kansas City earlier today). in multiple innings. Jackson made his MLB debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 16th, throwing four scoreless innings in that game. The Rockies will need to make figuring out Jackson a priority in Friday’s contest.
As mentioned, the Dodgers have seen Freeland fairly well in their past encounters. Justin Turner (.371), Corey Seager (.563), Cody Bellinger (.357), and A.J. Pollock (.357) have all found hit the lefty hard over the last few seasons. The Rockies, however, have responded to Graterol in kind, beating him up for a 5.68 ERA in six appearances (though those appearances total 6 1⁄3 innings).
The #RoadRockies will need to jump on any opportunities they get, and Connor Joe will be a key figure in that endeavour — since his call up on July 20th, the rookie is hitting .320 with eight homers and 27 RBIs, including .405 with runners in scoring position. Fresh off of hitting his first career grand slam in Chicago, the legend of Connor Joe can grow even more with a big game in LA.
Trevor Story, still dealing with some pain after Wednesday’s nightcap, is not in the lineup.
First Pitch: 8:10 P.M. MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain; MLB.tv
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)
#Rockies tonight. No Trevor Story after he was removed from Wednesday's game— Danielle Allentuck (@d_allentuck) August 27, 2021
LF Connor joe
SS Brendan Rodgers
RF Charlie Blackmon
1B CJ Cron
3B Ryan McMahon
C Elias Díaz
2B Garrett Hampson
CF Sam Hilliard
P Kyle Freeland