Freeland Adds to Growing Resume of Quality Work
In the darkness of another defeat, the Rockies saw a bright spot in the continued emergence of Kyle Freeland as a go-to member of the rotation. The left-hander, in his second big-league season, matched Giants All-Star lefty Madison Bumgarner with seven shutout innings.
Freeland came away with a no-decision, but it was his 10th quality start -- six innings or more and three earned runs or fewer -- in his last 12 starts. Freeland is 7-3 in those 12 starts. While the Rockies lost the two no-decisions, he worked seven innings in both, giving up two runs in seven innings of a June 16 start at Texas and then the seven shutout innings at AT&T Park on Wednesday.
And he did it on a night when he didn't have command of the slider, relying on his four-seam and two-seam fastballs, and a developing change-up.
"I'm proud of myself for being able to recognize what was working and not working, and use those pitches to get as deep as I could in the game," said Freeland.
But then seven inning is becoming a baseline for Freeland. He has pitched into the seventh inning in nine of the 12 starts in which he has had the 10 quality starts.
|Totals 2.60 ERA||7||3||78.1||66||23||23||23||64|
Freeland has become a workhorse. He has thrown 87 or more pitches in each of his 16 starts this season, 90-plus pitches in 14, and 100-plus in seven, including each of his last five starts. He ranks fifth among NL starting pitchers with an average 97.9 pitches per start, but is only 18th in pitches per inning pitched, and 28th in pitches per batter faced.
The five Rockies starters rank among the top 38 NL pitchers in their pitcher count per game.
Handling the Workload
The Rockies are the only NL team that has used the same five pitchers in their rotation since Opening Day. And they have handled the challenge. Rockies starters average 93.3 pitches per game, the third highest average in the NL, behind the Nationals and Cardinals.
Not Your Average Rotation
The deciding factor in the game was Brandon Crawford's home run leading off the bottom of the ninth off Rockies left-handed reliever Harrison Musgrave. It was the seventh time in the history of the Giants they won a game 1-0 with a walk-off home run.
|Bobby Thomson||April 30, 1953||Milwaukee Braves|
|Willie Mays||July 2, 1963||Milwaukee Braves|
|Willie Mays||Aug. 12, 1966||Houston Astros|
|Tom Haller||Sept. 22, 1967||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Bobby Murcer||July 16, 1976||Philadelphia Phillies|
|Steve Decker||April 21, 1991||Houston Astros|
Bumgarner has worked 16 consecutive scoreless innings, dating back to June 16 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. He has worked seven or more innings in back-to-back scoreless starts for the first time in his career. He also recorded the 1,500th strikeout of his career in what was the 239th start of his career. That's fourth fastest a left-handed pitcher has reached 1,500 strikeouts since 1920.