Improving Pirates to visit better-at-home Rockies

MLB Baseball

Coors Field has always been a safe haven for the Colorado Rockies, and this year is no exception.

Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates will be the Rockies’ first one at home in eight days, and the Rockies will get an extra boost. For the first time since the end of the 2019 season, Coors Field will be open for full capacity, and Colorado is taking advantage.

Welcome to Opening Day 2.0 at 20th and Blake streets.

Originally scheduled to be a night game, it was shifted to daytime when local restrictions were lifted, and the Rockies announced at the beginning of June that Monday would be the first day of full capacity.

A plan was put in place to celebrate, so the franchise came up with a reboot of Opening Day and game time was moved up to 3:10 p.m. local time.

Now the Rockies hope the combination of being at home and treating Monday’s game as a new beginning are enough to wipe away the sting of the recent road trip. Colorado is coming off a sweep at the hands of the Milwaukee Brewers.

The first two games of the series were tough losses. The Rockies led the first game entering the ninth, but the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead in a 5-4 loss in 11 innings. On Saturday, a six-run eighth against the relief corps spelled doom.

“The bullpen inconsistency has come back to bite us,” manager Bud Black said after Saturday’s loss.

Colorado has just six wins in 37 road games but is stronger at home, going 25-16 there. It is doubtful that Pittsburgh’s scheduled starter, Tyler Anderson, will be bothered by Coors Field. He began his career with the Rockies before injuries and inconsistency led to a parting.

Anderson (3-7, 4.82 ERA) will face Kyle Freeland (0-2, 7.76 ERA) in a battle of lefties.

Anderson has faced his former team just once, throwing five scoreless innings while with San Francisco last year. Freeland is 2-2 with a 4.73 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates.

Pittsburgh has won six of its last nine games and is coming off a strong series at St. Louis, where it took three of four against the Cardinals.

Anderson is looking for his first win since May 9 but has pitched at least five innings in all 14 of his starts. He went 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision in his last start on June 22 at home against the White Sox.

Anderson has said the changes to baseballs may have been a factor in pitchers using substances on them.

“At some point, some guys probably crossed the line because they found out pitches got a little nastier than maybe they were before whenever they found some other substances,” he said.

–Field Level Media

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