Today concludes a four-game set with a projected playoff team, and the Rockies are eyeing a series victory!
The final game of a series with the San Diego Padres concludes at Coors Field this afternoon. After being swept on the road in Los Angeles last week, Colorado has posted a 5-2 record. During that time, the Rockies have outscored their opponents by a narrow 35-34 margin; in the three games against San Diego thus far, the Rockies have won two, lost one, and outscored the Padres 20-15.
San Diego will send Blake Snell to the mound for his 10th start of 2022. The 2018 AL Cy Young winner currently holds the highest single-season ERA of his career (4.66), but his FIP (3.56) predicts better for his future performance — and his July is quickly proving so.
Snell last pitched in San Francisco on July 8: he tossed six innings of one-run work and struck out 11 batters, allowing just three hits in an inevitable 6-3 victory. Snell has collected 11 or more punchouts in 13 career starts; one of those outings came on July 1 where he struck out 12 over five innings at Dodger Stadium. His 1.64 ERA in the month of July has been made of these these two starts, and a July WHIP of 1.18 is a great figure to enter Coors Field with.
Snell will rely steadily on his four-seam fastball for roughly half of his pitches, even with two strikes. Most of his strikeouts this year have come with his slider, however.
Colorado counters this afternoon with Kyle Freeland, making his 18th start of the year. The left-hander is on pace to eclipse the 100-inning mark for 2022 this afternoon (currently 97 2⁄3 IP), which is a welcome sight after his injury-stricken 2021.
Freeland has posted a 7.50 ERA in July over 12 innings of work, and was roughed up against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Saturday. He allowed six earned runs in 6 1⁄3 innings, but his 1.372 WHIP on the year remains the lowest since his 2018 season where he placed fourth in NL Cy Young voting. Freeland’s 4.39 FIP on the year is also suggesting better future performance, but much can be proven today against the Padres as he looks to regain his July footing.
The Rockies have an extremely taxed bullpen for this series finale. Daniel Bard, Lucas Gilbreath and Robert Stephenson have pitched in back-to-back games, while Jake Bird and Alex Colomé have both seen extensive use in the week so far. San Diego will have a rested Taylor Rogers and Luis García available in relief after Snell, so a deep start from Freeland could be key for the Rockies to seal a series win this afternoon.
Also noteworthy: Kris Bryant is back from his brief appearance on the paternity list. Colorado optioned infielder Elehuris Montero back to Triple-A this morning in a subsequent move.
First Pitch: 6:40 PM MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain (COL), Bally Sports San Diego (SD); MLB.TV
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)