It seems as if we have talked about the Colorado Rockies rotation ad nauseam for quite some time now. After Saturday night, don’t expect that to die down any time soon.
What’s wrong with Kyle Freeland? That was the cry that went up in unison several times during his four-inning outing on Saturday night. The Colorado Rockies pitcher who held a 3-0 mark and 0.44 ERA in three interleague games was rocked by the Baltimore Orioles for seven runs and 10 hits. That included a three-run homer that would prove to be the difference in Baltimore’s 9-6 win.
So what’s wrong with Freeland? How can a pitcher who finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting last season end Saturday night with a 6.71 ERA and have surrendered eight homers in his five May outings? Well, we talked about what we’re seeing in this article.
We know what we’re seeing. We’ve seen what’s wrong. But here’s the bigger question perhaps: What comes next? How does Freeland find his footing and return to form?
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It may not be the answer that Rockies fans want to hear … but there really is no answer to that question at the moment coming from Colorado manager Bud Black or Freeland himself.
“It’s not mental,” Black said emphatically in his postgame press conference.
So is there something wrong with his delivery?
“No,” Black answered quickly.
So what is it?
“All in all, I think the first three innings, and even into the fourth, his stuff was good,” Black said. “He’s just not making a critical pitch at critical times.”
A very somber Freeland was asked if there were any silver linings from Saturday’s start that could be taken into his next start.
“Not really, no,” Freeland said.
Freeland said it’s location, getting behind in counts and letting things pile on top of each other that is creating a perfect storm of frustration.
So there’s not one magic bullet to fix all of this, Freeland said.
“I wish there was right now, but it’s just work,” the 26-year-old southpaw said. “I’m trying to be as positive as I can.”
And that’s where perhaps the biggest worry comes in when it comes to what it will take for Freeland to bounce back from this season that is quickly evolving into a nightmare. There’s no question Freeland can return to form … but there are plenty of questions about what it will take for that to actually happen.