Colorado Rockies: Kyle Freeland part of franchise first on Monday
By Kevin Henry
When Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland and San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Kevin Gausman squared off against each other at Coors Field, it marked a moment of pride for the state of Colorado and a first for Coors Field.
Here’s why Monday’s Colorado Rockies-San Francisco Giants game had a special meaning to it
With Freeland (a Denver native) and Gausman (hailing from Centennial, a suburb of Denver) serving as the starters for their respective clubs, it marked the ninth time in Major League Baseball history that two Colorado natives had squared off to begin a game. It was also the first time that a pair of Colorado natives had opposed each other to start a game in Denver.
Freeland and Gausman have each started other games against Colorado natives, with Freeland squaring off against San Francisco’s Ty Blach (Denver native) on June 28, 2017 in San Francisco and Gausman pitching against Seattle’s Marcos Gonzales (born in Fort Collins) on April 1, 2021.
Meanwhile, Blach and Gonzales pitched against each other on April 3, 2018.
Outside of those four pitchers, here are the other matchups that have exclusively involved Colorado-born starting pitchers.
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Brian Matusz (Baltimore) vs. Luke Hochevar (Kansas City), May 17, 2012 and May 27, 2012
Brian Matusz (Baltimore) vs. Roy Halladay (Toronto), August 9, 2009
Roy Halladay (Toronto) vs. Mike Oquist (Oakland), May 4, 1999
Mark Knudson (Milwaukee) vs. Brian Holman (Seattle), August 31, 1989
In Monday’s Colorado battle at Coors Field, Gausman had the advantage early as he rung up five strikeouts through the first three innings while Freeland struggled with giving up home runs, surrendering three long balls in his initial three-plus frames of work.
Freeland would eventually be done after 4.1 innings of work, giving up nine hits and seven runs, including four homers, in a 92-pitch performance. Gausman, meanwhile, lasted seven innings and scattered five hits and struck out nine while allowing three runs.