On Wednesday, Cy Young contender Walker Buehler entered Coors Field with a 2.39 ERA. He allowed five earned runs to the Rockies and failed to complete four innings, lifting his ERA to a 2.58 and potentially derailing his Cy Young hopes.
The Rockies have a similar opportunity this afternoon, except Max Scherzer holds the best ERA in the National League among qualified starters.
It’s a tough billing for the Rockies, but fans will get their moneys worth as they watch one of the best to ever do it.
Fans will definitely get their moneys worth if the Rockies can secure a series win against the Dodgers, too.
Scherzer can drop his ERA into the ones with seven scoreless innings. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last five starts (36 2⁄3 IP), so he’s well on his way. His 2.08 ERA is 0.23 above second-place Corbin Burnes (MIL) and 0.50 above fourth-place Buehler.
Scherzer is now 37 years old and continues to dominate the big leagues with a near-identical pitch mix for the last several years:
His heater averages less than one MPH below his career high too, so it’s safe to reason he’s drinking out of the Fountain of Youth between innings.
Colorado’s Kyle Freeland will pitch the top of the first and is coming off a strong start of his own, tossing six scoreless frames against the Nationals. He spaced out seven hits and one walk for no damage and punched out seven. The month of September has not been favorable for him, however, posting a 6.23 ERA (17 1⁄3 IP) and a 14.54 inside Coors Field (4 1⁄3 IP). His lone start in Denver this month came against the tough-hitting Giants (7 ER), and today will be just his second start at Coors Field in 32 days.
Freeland’s pitch selection has been erratic this season, but he seems to be favoring a sinker more than his four-seamer as of late.
(Note: Scherzer’s chart is a career chart, while Freeland’s is just for this season.)
After a strong start in D.C., Freeland might stick to a similar mix—although his slider is something he has shown fairly often at altitude.
First Pitch: 1:10 p.m. MDT
- The Dodgers are currently two games behind San Francisco; the Giants and Padres square off at 2:10 MDT (Webb vs. Darvish).
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (COL), Spectrum SportsNet LA (LAD), MLB.tv
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)
#Rockies Lineup 09/23/21— Daily MLB Lineups (@DailyMLBLineup) September 23, 2021
1. Raimel Tapia LF
2. Brendan Rodgers 2B
3. Ryan McMahon 3B
4. Trevor Story SS
5. C.J. Cron 1B
6. Sam Hilliard RF
7. Garrett Hampson CF
8. Dom Nunez C
9. Kyle Freeland P
Starting Pitcher : Kyle Freeland
- Today is the second of three chapters this week for the Rockies facing prospective Cy Young finalists: Buehler on Wednesday, Scherzer on Thursday, and Kevin Gausman (SF, 2.92 ERA) on Sunday.