Into September we go! Finishing with a 14-13 record in August, the Rockies now turn the page to September, with a goal of finishing strong and possibly playing as a spoiler in the NL West. When you include this afternoon’s game, there are just 30 more games remaining in the 2021 season.
With September comes expanded rosters that increase from 26 to now 28. Just before today’s game, the Rockies announced they had recalled RHPs Antonio Santos and Justin Lawrence as their new September additions. Additionally, they placed Jon Gray on the IL and selected the contract of RHP Julian Fernandez from Triple-A Albuquerque. You can read more about those moves here.
For today’s game, the Rockies will send out the left hander Kyle Freeland (5-6, 4.17 ERA) for his 18th start of the year. Freeland has now put together two really good back-to-back months with a combined 2.90 ERA in July and August. Unlike the rest of the rotation, Freeland has been better on the road than at home with a 3.94 road ERA. Freeland was a big reason why the Rockies were able to win their last series in Los Angeles when he allowed just four total hits in six innings to a really good Dodger lineup. Now in Texas, Freeland has good numbers through two career starts against the Rangers, posting a 2.77 ERA and a 1.231 WHIP against them.
Leading the Texas charge for the sweep will be the right handed rookie Kohei Arihara (2-3, 6.59 ERA). Arihara is 29-years-old and just made the switch to the MLB from the Nippon League in Japan last offseason. He was just seven starts into his MLB career when he began to be bothered by a right middle finger contusion that initially put him on the 10-day IL. However, just as he was about to return from that injury, the Rangers discovered a more concerning shoulder aneurysm that would require surgery. He was shelved on the 60-day IL ever since, until today. Arihara will now make his return and pitch in just his eighth MLB game.
Before the injury, Arihara’s pitch arsenal featured an impressively balanced seven pitch mix. His fastball lives in the low 90s so he relies on an array of off-speed and breaking pitches to generate ground balls and swings and misses.
First Pitch: 12:05 P.M. MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain; MLB.tv
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)
#Rockies lineup today— Danielle Allentuck (@d_allentuck) September 1, 2021
LF Connor Joe
2B Brendan Rodgers
DH Charlie Blackmon
SS Trevor Story
1B CJ Cron
3B Ryan McMahon
RF Raimel Tapia
CF Sam Hilliard
C Dom Nuñez
LHP Kyle Freeland
Going for the sweep. pic.twitter.com/nmuB176P6E— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) September 1, 2021