Pitching Helps Rockies Regain Coors Field Domination -- Honestly
These Rockies are ruining the franchise image. With Denver native Kyle Freeland setting the pace, the Rockies are actually winning at Coors more because of their pitching than their hitting.
Truth be told, lately, the Rockies have been winning most anywhere. They go into Saturday night's game against the A's at Coors Field, having won 17 of their last 22 games. But the biggest turn of events is they have won 10 of their last 12 games at Coors Field.
Big deal? Well, this year that's a real big deal. With the 3-1 victory in the series opener against the A's on Friday night, the Rockies climbed above .500 (25-24) at home for the first time this season. A team that came into July with a 15-22 record at home, the Rockies have won 10 of 12 home games this month, and during the surge they have climbed to within two games of the NL West-leading Dodgers, and a half-game of second place Arizona.
The pitchers have been dominating opposing teams at Coors Field. The Rockies have allowed three or fewer runs in nine of their last 12 home games, and in the first nine innings of the last 12 home games, they have allowed three or fewer 10 times. There was that Tuesday night nightmare in the 10th against the Astros when Wade Davis gave up six runs in what became an 8-2 Rockies loss.
Hot at Home
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Three of the Rockies five starting pitchers are among eight National League starters who have an ERA below 2.00 at home this month. No other team has more than one. And the bright point for the Rockies is while Tyler Anderson (1.32) ranks fifth and Kyle Freeland (1.47) ranks seventh, they are second and third on their own staff.
Jon Gray, who had been dispatched to Triple-A Albuquerque to try and get back on track, was an emergency call up when the Rockies lost both Chad Bettis and Antonio Senzatela to blister problems, and he has a 1.26 ERA in two starts at Coors Field since his return.
Add it all up and the Rockies have the best home record in the NL in the month of July thanks to a pitching staff that has the lowest ERA (2.56) and the lowest batting average allowed (.205). They even have converted five of six save opprtunites. The only team with five saves and no blown saves is the Dodgers, who rank third in ERA at 3.09 at Dodger Stadium in July.
At the other extreme are the Nationals (6.00 ERA), Cardinals (5.80) and Padres (5.27), despite San Diego playing in one of the most pitcher friendly ballparks in baseball.
Kyle Freeland's success at Coors Field is not limited to just this month. He has a 2.45 ERA at Coors Field for the season, ninth lowest among starting pitchers who have made at least five starts at home, and a .223 batting average allowed. His six wins at Coors Field are two fewer than Aaron Nola of the Phillies, who also leads the NL at home with an 8-0 record in 10 starts.
Freeland, in fact, has a 3.23 ERA at Coors Field in his career, the lowest of the 55 pitchers who have started five or more games at Coors Field as a member of the Rockies. And Tyler Anderson is second on the all-time list at 3.48. Jon Gray ranks 11th all-time with Chris Rusin, who has started and relieved for the Rockies, 16th, Antonio Senzatela 17th, German Marquez 25th and Jeff Hoffman, currently at Triple-A Albuqueque, 50th.
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