MLB: Kyle Freeland, Rockies hope to stave off Marlins sweep
Colorado Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland is experiencing an interesting week.
On Monday — during an off day — he and his wife flew to Tampa to support his hometown NHL team, the Colorado Avalanche, who lost that Stanley Cup Final game 6-2 to the Lightning.
On Thursday afternoon, Freeland (3-5, 4.46 ERA) will get another chance at a Colorado victory when he starts against the host Miami Marlins, who will attempt to complete a three-game sweep.
Freeland is 2-0 with a 4.15 ERA in four career appearances, including two starts, against the Marlins. The last time he pitched in Miami was in 2019, when he beat the Marlins 6-3 by allowing just one run in seven innings.
The Rockies are looking for more offensive production after losing 7-4 to Miami on Wednesday. Colorado was held to just one run until the ninth, when Elias Diaz slugged a three-run homer to make the score look more respectable.
Rockies shortstop Jose Iglesias — known for his defense — went 1-for-3 on Wednesday, raising his batting average to .304.
“He’s a tough out,” Rockies manager Bud Black said when asked about Iglesias prior to the game. “The perception has always been ‘good field, lighter bat,’ but I don’t see that. This guy can hit.”
The Marlins will start left-hander Braxton Garrett (1-2, 4.85 ERA) on Thursday.
Garrett has faced the Rockies just once in his brief career, and that happened when Colorado beat him 4-3 on June 9, 2021. Garrett allowed five hits, three walks and two runs in four innings.
This season, the Marlins are 1-2 when Garrett starts. His one impressive start came on June 11, when he beat the Astros by allowing one run, none earned, in 5 2/3 innings. In his other two starts, he allowed a combined seven runs in 7 1/3 innings.
He will hope for some offensive support from Jazz Chisholm Jr., who leads the team with 14 homers.
Chisholm, who leads National League second basemen in All-Star balloting, was rested on Tuesday by manager Don Mattingly. One day later, Chisholm responded by blasting a two-run, upper-deck homer. He also stroked an RBI single.
“I’m thanking Donnie every day,” Chisholm said of his manager. “He’s a great coach. He cares about the players. He knew I needed a personal day to reset, and you see the result.”
Mattingly said it’s not just Chisholm who needs an occasional reset day.
“We see it with everybody,” he said. “Even (Marlins center fielder Jesus) Sanchez having the illness, just having the reset of watching games without having to play.
“The games keep coming. Those days when you don’t have to go out there — it’s helpful at times. You’d like your guys to think about wanting to play every day, but there are times when they need that day.”
Mattingly said Chisholm — who entered Wednesday batting just .182 in June — prospered from the psychological rest.
“If you have been struggling, it’s more mental,” Mattingly said. “Baseball is not really that physical, other than it’s every day. That’s the mental side.
“Getting yourself ready to play every day is the biggest challenge. When you are struggling, you start thinking, ‘What’s wrong with my swing?’ instead of coming to the park ready to play.”
–Field Level Media