Chad Qualls Preparing to Join Impressive MLB Club
The next time that Chad Qualls takes the mound for the Colorado Rockies, he’ll be joining an elite club.
With his outing on Wednesday night against the Boston Red Sox, Qualls made his 799th career appearance. It was a rocky one for the 13-year veteran as he surrendered four hits and three runs in his lone inning of work during Boston’s 10-3 victory over the Rockies at Fenway Park.
Qualls, who joined the Rockies in the offseason after pitching for two years for the Houston Astros, will join the 800-appearance club with his next outing. Kyle Farnsworth (893) and Francisco Rodriguez (878) are the only active pitchers with more appearances than Qualls.
Additionally, Qualls will become just the 48th pitcher in MLB history to cross over the 800-appearance barrier. Most of those outings have come wearing an Astros uniform but Qualls has seen duty for nine different teams, including the Rockies.
Focusing on this season, Qualls has thrown just 13.1 innings in 18 games, compiling a 6.08 ERA so far. That number ballooned after Wednesday night’s outing, but also signaled a bit of an alarming trend as of late for the right-hander. In three of his last four outings, Qualls has given up at least one run. After putting together a 4.50 ERA in April, that number has jumped to 8.44 in May.
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Qualls had actually lowered his season ERA to 3.72 before blowing a save opportunity against Arizona on May 11, giving up a two-run lead with a single, double, and triple while recording just one out in an 8-7 Rockies win.
Since then, however, it’s been tough going on the mound for Qualls, especially in the two games the Rockies have had inside Fenway Park, where he has surrendered six hits in two innings against Boston’s stacked offensive lineup.
For Qualls this year, success has come earlier in his appearance than later. He’s averaging around 11.4 pitches per outing but when his workload increases, so do the problems. In pitches 1-15 of his appearance, Qualls has a 5.23 ERA. In pitches 16-30, that number jumps to 9.00.
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Qualls has brought a veteran presence to the Rockies bullpen and is about to cross an impressive personal milestone on the mound. However, Colorado fans will celebrate the accomplishment even more if Chad Qualls can once again find the pitches that seem to have eluded him in three of his last four appearances.