Colorado Rockies’ Kyle Kendrick Proves His Worth

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Apr 6, 2015; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Colorado Rockies pitcher Kyle Kendrick (38) pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Kendrick pitched 7 shutout innings to pick up the win as the Rockies beat the Brewers 10-0. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After tossing seven shut out innings in Milwaukee on Monday afternoon, Kyle Kendrick proved why the Colorado Rockies picked him up this winter and decided to start him on Opening Day. 

No, Kyle Kendrick will not win 20 games for the Colorado Rockies this summer. Hell, he might never again throw seven shut out innings as a member of the Rockies.

But he’s not supposed to do that, and he’s not supposed to be an ace – he’s supposed to be steady, consistent, and a veteran presence to prevent the Rockies from going through this year what they dealt with last season.

Despite the ribbing some folks gave the Rockies for making Kendrick their Opening Day starter, he did what he was supposed to do and what he was signed to do. Against the Brewers, he proved why his acquisition was so underrated this winter.

Let’s look past the seven scoreless frames, six strikeouts, and (sarcastic) Cy Young talk, because Kendrick will almost certainly not be the club’s ace this summer.

On Monday, Kendrick threw 93 pitches, 67 of which were strikes (72.0%).

He tossed 19 first-pitch strikes on 27 batters faced (70.4%).

He didn’t walk anybody, and he didn’t allow an extra base hit.

He tossed 18 called strikes and 9 swinging strikes, for a total of 27 strikes without contact (29.0% of pitches, 40.3% of strikes).

Kendrick threw 18 called strikes and 9 swinging strikes on Monday, for a total of 27 strikes without contact (29.0% of pitches, 40.3% of strikes).

Granted, when you’re staked to a 4-0 lead before you throw a pitch and a 10-0 lead before you reach your fourth inning of work, it’s easier to be a starting pitcher.

But Kendrick deserves credit for filling up the zone, making quick work of hitters, and going right after the Brewers with quality strikes low in the zone, and on the corners.

I’d guess his average start going forward will be more in line with 6 IP/3 R, rather than 7 IP/0 R, but either way, he’s savvy enough to know what he needs to do to keep the Rockies in games and, in many cases, prevent a blow-up early in a start.

With the offensive firepower the club has up and down the lineup, preventing blow-ups and keeping the club relatively close in games is all Kendrick really needs to do, anyways.

Staked to a big lead Monday, he looked amazing.

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But don’t get too optimistic, because it’s a very long season.

And don’t forget what he’s here to do.

He’s not Jorge De La Rosa, or what the club hopes Jon Gray or Eddie Butler will become.

If Kendrick can toss six innings every fifth day and allow three or four runs, considering the bats the Rockies have, he’ll be extremely valuable.

Seven shut out frames? That’s just a bonus.

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