Kyle Freeland, as he has all season, came through in a much-needed win as the Rockies extended their NL West lead, winning 4-2 at Coors Field.
We mentioned yesterday that Nolan Arenado needs to be part of this late-season push for the Rockies. Perhaps sensing that the star third-baseman needed some relief, Colorado manager Bud Black benched Arenado for this all-important division game.
It’s an incredible turn of events and if, as many suspect, this is the twilight of Arenado’s time in Colorado, it’s great to see the Rockies grab a victory without relying on heroics from any individual. Colorado beat the Dodgers on Saturday with great pitching from Freeland and timely hitting.
Freeland gave Black 6 innings of four hit, one run ball. He struck out eight and walked only two. With all of the pressure swirling around this game, Freeland was in control and confident, grabbing his 14th win and dropping his ERA to 4.91. Scott Oberg and Adam Ottavino would add another four strikeouts (3 from Oberg) in holding the Dodgers scoreless for the 7th and 8th innings.
Wade Davis earned his 39th save despite a shaky ninth inning performance.
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Offensively, the Rockies got to Dodgers pitcher Walker Buehler just enough to secure the win. A Chris Ianetta solo shot in the third and a Charlie Blackmon two-run blast in the fifth gave the Rockies all the runs they would need and Buehler the loss.
The Rockies will look to take the series and extend their division lead to 2-1/2 games on Sunday. Expect Nolan Arenado to be back in the lineup, the Rockies will need all the jump they can get with Tyler Anderson taking the mound. Depending on which version of Anderson we get on Sunday, the Rockies might be in the market for more runs. These are the games Colorado needs to win if they have designs on postseason play.