Rockies’ Kyle Freeland keeps turn in rotation, faces Cardinals
When Kyle Freeland hobbled while running the bases Monday afternoon, it was feared the Colorado Rockies’ left-hander was seriously hurt.
It would have been an unfortunate injury after Freeland missed considerable time at the beginning of the season with a left-shoulder strain. The good news for the Rockies is Freeland was suffering from cramps and will keep his turn in the rotation.
That turn is Saturday night against the Cardinals in the third of a four-game series. Freeland (1-2, 6.54 ERA) will be opposed by Wade LeBlanc (0-1, 5.60) in a battle of lefties.
The Cardinals rallied Friday night for a 9-3 win in 10 innings after trailing 3-2 entering the ninth. They scored six in the 10th, four on Harrison Bader’s grand slam.
Freeland will try to get Colorado back on track after his scary moment Monday. He pulled up ailing when he tried to go from first to third in the 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.
“It was a bit of bad luck rounding second – I felt it a little bit,” Freeland said. “But it happens. Thankfully, it wasn’t horrible.”
Freeland was having his best outing after struggling to find his rhythm in his first six starts. He pitched five scoreless innings against the Pirates, striking out seven.
“It’s definitely a breath of fresh air to pitch the way that I want to pitch, execute the things that I want to execute, be on the same page with the catcher behind the plate that day,” Freeland said. “It’s nice to get that breathing room to get that feeling back.”
He got his first win of the season against Pittsburgh, and Saturday he will look for his first career victory against St. Louis. He is 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA, five walks and nine strikeouts in two career starts against the Cardinals, with his last coming in 2018.
LeBlanc will make his second start for St. Louis after signing a free-agent contract with the team on June 17. He made four relief appearances before getting the start Monday against Arizona. He went 4 1/3 innings in the 7-1 win but didn’t factor into the decision.
LeBlanc has bounced around the majors since making his debut in 2008.
In 11 career games against the Rockies — nine starts — he is 3-4 with a 6.62 ERA, and Saturday will be his seventh game and sixth start at Coors Field. He is 2-3 with an 8.54 ERA in his Denver appearances.
LeBlanc was pulled after 71 pitches against the Diamondbacks; he had thrown 47 strikes.
“I think when you’re a guy with stuff like I have, it’s imperative to force the hitters to swing, get aggressive, get in swing mode, and then you can start to work off the plate,” LeBlanc said after Monday’s game.
–Field Level Media