The Colorado Rockies just wrapped up their first turn through the rotation of the 2019 season, going 2-3. Before Chad Bettis’ start (and loss) on Monday, they had phenomenal pitching in these first 4 games, particularly from the starting rotation. This is a good indicator the Rockies could have a rare team with a good rotation, as well as set the table for another season in the playoffs. We’ll break down the starts for each.
Game 1: Kyle Freeland
Freeland wasn’t well known by the press in 2018, and still isn’t now. But he is a prime star for the Colorado Rockies, and one of the most valuable players in their system. Opening Day in the MLB proved just that. Freeland put up a Cy Young level performance in Miami, going 7 innings and only allowing 1 run and 2 hits. He made a costly mistake on a pitch to JT Riddle, a pinch hitter who came in for one single at bat. Other than that, Freeland was phenomenal.
Scott Oberg and Seunghwan Oh both had difficult days after Freeland, but nothing to be too concerned about. Both allowed 1 run in 1 inning. Both were solo home runs, and the only other hits the Marlins got on the day. Sure, the Marlins were hitting home runs. But every pitcher was keeping runners off base, and limiting the damage done on the day. Excellent day.
Game 2: German Marquez
As good as Freeland was, Marquez just about outdid game 1 with his performance in game 2. He pitched 6 innings and once again allowed 1 run. This was on 3 hits, but he makes up for it with 7 strikeouts, giving him an average of 10.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. He didn’t do as good of a job keeping runners off the base, but his strikeout ratio will make sure he doesn’t ever give up more than a few runs a game.
The bullpen consisted of DJ Johnson, Mike Dunn, and Bryan Shaw, who all shut down the Miami offense. These performances are great, and it is especially good to see what Bryan Shaw did in the 9th inning. A player who typically struggled in 2018 looked wonderful in his first opportunity in 2019.
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Game 3: Tyler Anderson
We’re used to seeing Tyler Anderson be an absolute bulldog on the mound in critical situations, but he’s definitely human. We saw that in Saturday’s game, the first loss for the Rockies. He had way too many hits given up, which led to 2 large innings. With 3 strikeouts, however, it’s nothing to be too concerned about.
DJ Johnson was abysmal in his 1/3 inning, but that doesn’t mean the rest of the bullpen didn’t perform well in the rest of the games. Jake McGee, Mike Dunn, and Bryan Shaw all gave up hits, but still looked very serviceable in this game. Not a great pitching performance from the Rockies, but also nothing to be concerned about.
Game 4: Jon Gray
The Rockies should have won this game, because Jon Gray put up a good performance. He had the teams season high 10 strikeouts in just 6 2/3 innings. 3 runs is nothing to be too impressed at, but it certainly should be enough to win most games. Unfortunately, the offense just wasn’t there. It will be in the future, however, so don’t be too concerned about that.
Harrison Musgrave and Wade Davis both looked really good as well. Neither had given up a hit. Davis only pitched to 2 batters and walked one, so Musgrave is the real stud we’re looking at in this game. Excellent performance from him on the mound.
Despite Chad Bettis’ struggles in game five by allowing 6 earned runs through 5 2/3 innings, this starting rotation, as most people expected, looks like it will be the strong suit of the team.