The Colorado Rockies had 20th and Blake buzzing this afternoon as they celebrated Opening Day at Coors Field. The team is entering it’s 25th season in Denver, so fittingly, the Rockies picked Denver native, Kyle Freeland who is 24, to make his major league debut in his home park. And what a debut it was for the hometown kid. Freeland got the Los Angeles Dodgers as his first game and went six innings, allowing four hits with one run and striking out six.
For the second day in a row a rookie pitcher took the mound for the boys in purple, and both times they got into trouble in the 1st inning. With two outs Justin Turner singled and Freehand loaded the bases after back to back walks, prompting a visit from pitching coach Steve Foster. He was able to calm the nerves and get a groundball to end the threat.
The Rockies took the lead in the bottom of the first with a Nolan Arenado double down the left field line that scored DJ LeMahieu from second. With two on and only one out, Trevor Story popped out and Mark Reynolds went down swinging, not being able to capatilize on adding more runs. Then Freehand settled down starting in the second inning and manuevered his way up and down the Dodgers lineup and escaping jams. Then in the fourth the Dodgers played some small ball to get a run across. After a leadoff Scott Van Slyke double and sac but by Yasmani Grandal, Keke Hernandez got the rbi on a groundout, tying the game 1-1.
The fifth inning led off with a Dustin Garneua home run just inside the foul pole giving the Rox a 2-1 lead. Then things got a little hectic, Freeland got his first big league hit with a single, then Charlie Blackmon walked, prompting LeMahieu to ground into a double play. Blackmon slid into second, but was called out due to runner interference as there was contact with Logan Forsythe. The Rockies, once again, weren’t able to capitalize on runners in scoring position as Freehand was left stranded at third base.
A clean sixth inning led Freeland to depart the ballgame after a quality start and turn it over to the bullpen. The consistent work of the pen this year continued as they didn’t allow a run. The combo of Carlos Estevez, Scott Oberg and Jake McGee proved to be a solid choice as they made it look easy. McGee picked up the save, which is his first of the year.
COL: Jon Gray takes the mound making his second start of the season. He ran into trouble last go around and only pitched 4 1/3 innings.
LAD: Clayton Kershaw goes opposite Gray as these two aces face off for the first time in the young season.
Trevor Story – Struck out twice pushing his season total to 8 Ks in only 17 AB, he has yet to find his groove offensively.
Stephen Cardullo – Started in left field over Gerardo Parra and went 0 for 3 on the day.