If you’re versed in Colorado amateur baseball, today is your game. We’ve got graduates from Thomas Jefferson High School (Denver) and Regis Jesuit High School (Aurora) on the hill.
About 1,600 miles from where both Kyle Freeland and David Peterson grew up, the Colorado Rockies (54-73) and New York Mets (81-46, 1st in NL East) will square off in the third game of a four-game set. Colorado has lost both games of the series thus far by a combined score of 7-10, and on the heels of a Friday walk-off defeat, a taxed Rockies bullpen looms.
David Peterson (Regis Jesuit HS; Class of 2014) has flipped between Triple-A Syracuse and his MLB squad on two occasions in the past month. His 3.44 ERA, 3.89 FIP and 3.46 xFIP this year suggest better favor than his Triple-A movement may suggest; if not for a Mets rotation stacked with the likes of (when healthy) Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt, it could very well be Peterson with routine MLB starts.
Peterson’s last MLB start was exactly seven days ago against the Phillies, a 4 2⁄3-inning appearance where he allowed three earned runs on eight hits. He was optioned and recalled from Triple-A since then.
A Colorado-raised, University of Oregon-trained left-hander, Peterson holds a tremendous 27.0% strikeout percentage this season with the Mets. This also comes with a less-impressive 11.1% walk percentage, so the Rockies may look to explore extra plate discipline in their hitting approaches to get to Peterson’s pitch count (which is perhaps why Bud Black has put the veteran Randal Grichuk in the leadoff spot today).
Peterson has a ground-ball percentage of 56.3%, the eighth-best figure in the league, and a fitting figure for a pitcher raised pitching in the Mile High City.
Kyle Freeland (Thomas Jefferson HS; Class of 2011) will take the mound in the bottom of the first. He holds a 6.45 ERA in the month of August and his last outing (8/21 vs. SF) was a 6 1/3-inning, six run (five earned) showing that lifted his season figure to a 4.93. Today continues a tough streak of August opponents; Freeland was on the hill for the early Juan Soto-boosted Padres, followed by two starts against the NL Central-leading Cardinals.
The Mets and Braves are the presumed next two opponents for Freeland; the Colorado left-hander could have a big voice in the NL East standings with two games separating those two teams.
Colorado’s bullpen threw a combined 74 pitches on Friday, led by Lucas Gilbreath (28), Carlos Estévez (19) and Daniel Bard (16). The presumed top three active relievers will be either resting today or potentially fatigued; with the recent DFA to Robert Stephenson, today could be a statement game for an arm like Justin Lawrence or Jake Bird — although they both threw a combined 53 pitches on Thursday. (No matter how we break it down, this bullpen may be simply tired all around.)
Silver lining: Mets closer Edwin Díaz has thrown 16 pitches in each of the past two games, so we likely won’t hear the Narco trumpets at Citi Field tonight. (This could instead mean old friend Adam Ottavino is in line for a save situation, however.)
First Pitch: 5:10 p.m. MDT
TV: AT&T Sports Net Rocky Mountain (COL), SportsNet New York (NYM); MLB.TV
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNRV 1150 (Spanish)