The City of Brotherly Love has done minimal favors for the National League brethren of Colorado. The Rockies have been outscored 25-8 in the first three games of a four-game set, and the club will return to Denver tonight with either a winning or losing record on the road.
Austin Gomber (4.20 ERA, 3.28 FIP) will take the hill for the Rockies after last pitching Saturday against the Tigers. He tossed six innings of shutout baseball in that start while collecting eight strikeouts, one shy of his all-time best in a Rockies uniform. The left-hander has stuck with a relatively consistent pitch mix from 2021 but has increased his slider and fastball use thus far; he used them less in Detroit last weekend, however, so today will paint a bigger picture on how he feels about curveballs and changeups at sea level.
The Phillies will counter with Zack Wheeler (8.53 ERA, 4.03 FIP), a Cy Young contender from a year ago — but a stifling arm in the early stages of 2022. Wheeler last pitched against the Brewers and allowed four earned runs in five innings; his previous start was a three-inning affair in Miami where he allowed seven in just three frames. The right-hander led all of baseball with a 213 1⁄3 inning total last year, but it will be tough to manage that workload if his WHIP remains in the 1.66 territory as it currently stands. Lest we forget that he also finished second on the NL Cy ballot a year ago, however, and he could hit his stride at any moment.
Kris Bryant is not in the starting lineup for the third consecutive day as he deals with some back discomfort. He has not been placed on the injured list, however.
Colorado’s bullpen remains somewhat rested at this point in the series. On Wednesday, Daniel Bard returned to game action for the first time in a week. Carlos Estévez and Robert Stephenson were used and could be be down today. The services of Alex Colomé and the recently-strong Tyler Kinley could be enlisted for close late innings with Bard as an ‘only if needed’ candidate.
First Pitch: 11:05 a.m. MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain (COL), NBC Sports Philadelphia (PHI); MLB.TV
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)