Tuesday night in Los Angeles marks the biggest game and biggest matchup of the Colorado Rockies season. Kyle Freeland vs. Clayton Kershaw.
Freeland, the Rockies most consistent starting pitcher brings a 15-7 record and a 2.96 ERA to tonight’s huge contest.
Kershaw is 8-5 with a 2.51 ERA but has been spectacular of late, notching a 7-1 record over his last 15 starts.
On what should be the biggest stage (The Rockies and Dodgers are the National Game tomorrow night), both teams are being led by their biggest pitching stars.
Monday night’s debacle is in the rearview mirror, the Rockies must win this game. Los Angeles got big production from the top half of their order, with Joc Pederson, Justin Turner, Manny Machado, Max Muncy and Yasiel Puig accounting for nine of LA’s 11 hits. They got to Jon Gray early and often, chasing the Rox starter before he could get an out in the third.
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Tuesday has to be about the Rockies stars and their response. Colorado will likely be without MVP-candidate Trevor Story, who suffered an elbow injury in the first before leaving the game in the fourth inning. The loss of Story, both in the field and at the plate is an enormous blow for Colorado, particularly with third baseman Nolan Arenado mired in an extended slump.
As much as anything can be counted on in baseball, the Rockies can count on a solid six innings from Freeland. He will likely have the Rockies in position to win. The problem for Colorado, who has scored just four runs in four games, is at the plate.
It is unclear how the Rockies will handle the Story injury. Ian Desmond has been a longtime shortstop in the league, he could be a quality fill-in. Ryan McMahon and Pat Valaika are options but neither have hit the ball particularly well recently. Matt Holliday could start at first and Desmond at shortstop, if Bud Black is looking to get innovative with jump-starting the offensive production.
This is as big a game as the Rockies have had since the 2007 World Series run. Kyle Freeland is just the guy we want on the mound. Let’s hope the offense gives the Colorado native something to work with.