The Colorado Rockies are off to a strong start to the 2020 season, but for the first time since things kicked off three weeks ago, they are dealing with a slump.
The Rockies will attempt to get back on track when they host the Texas Rangers for a three-game series, starting Friday night.
Colorado won its first five series before Arizona came to town and teed off on the Rockies’ pitching staff. The Diamondbacks scored 32 runs in three games and took two out of three at Coors Field. The bullpen took the brunt of it, especially in Wednesday’s 13-7 loss.
“This one, we got knocked around a little bit. They chipped away, some balls fell, we didn’t make plays,” said manager Bud Black, whose team has lost three of four. “So, overall, we still have a lot of faith in our bullpen.”
Texas will send right-hander Lance Lynn to the mound, while the Rockies will counter with rookie Ryan Castellani.
Lynn (2-0, 1.16 ERA) started Opening Day against Colorado, striking out nine in six shutout innings to get the victory in a 1-0 Rangers’ win. In eight career starts against Colorado, he is 3-2 with a 2.42 ERA. The 33-year-old has pitched well at Coors Field, where he is 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in four career starts.
Lynn’s win on Opening Day was followed by two no-decisions despite allowing just one run in 12 1/3 innings. He got his second win — and the 100th of his career — over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. The Rangers are coming off a 5-1 homestand after dropping eight of their first 11 games.
Texas pulled out a dramatic 7-4 win against Seattle on Wednesday, scoring five times in the eighth to take two of three games from the Mariners.
“That’s a huge victory for so many reasons,” manager Chris Woodward said after the game. “Especially the way we won that game. We know it is not going to be easy offensively. We haven’t hit as well as we would like, but we’ve managed to win some games by doing small ball, stealing bases, getting big hits. Those are the things we have to do to win the tough games.”
Colorado was on the business end of big rally against Arizona on Wednesday, giving up eight runs in the seventh inning. Now the Rockies hand the ball to the right-handed Castellani, who made his major league debut Saturday in Seattle.
Castellani, 24, was plugged in when Chi Chi Gonzalez was injured and he didn’t allow a hit in four-plus innings in a no-decision. He was on a pitch count of around 60, which will increase to around 75 against the Rangers.
“The thing that was impressive to me was just his mound presence, his poise,” Black said after Saturday’s game. “He looked under control delivery-wise, he didn’t overthrow the ball. I thought he and Drew were in great rhythm the whole night. There was just so many positives tonight for Ryan that you really like to see that and the guy’s first game, it was really cool stuff.”
–Field Level Media