Saturday, June 22, 2024
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MLB Preview: Atlanta Braves (86-45) at Colorado Rockies (49-83)

ATLANTA BRAVES NOTES:

TONIGHT’S GAME: The Braves and Rockies tonight conclude a three-game series with what is the seventh and final game between the clubs this season…. Atlanta and Colorado played a four-game set at Truist Park, June 15-18. The Braves have won all six games with the Rockies this season and are 12-1 in their last 12 games against Colorado dating to last year. Atlanta went 6-1 in seven games with Colorado last season, the Braves’ most wins in a single season versus the Rockies since winning six in every year from 2011-2013. Last season marked the first time the Braves won the season set with the Rockies since going 4-3 in 2014…From 2015 through 2021, Atlanta played to just a 12-28 (.300) record versus the Rockies… Colorado played to a .700 winning percentage versus Atlanta in those years, but just a .477 winning percentage overall. The Braves swept all four games at Coors Field last season, Atlanta’s first four-game sweep here in franchise history…Atlanta has won seven straight games here dating to 2021, its longest winning streak in this building…The Braves previously won six straight here from 2011-2013. LH Kyle Freeland is set to make the eighth start of his career against Atlanta, and his second this season…The 6-foot-4, 204-pound Denver native is 1-3 with a 5.80 ERA (26 ER/40.1 IP) in his career versus the Braves, including allowing nine hits and seven runs over 4.1 innings on June 15 at Truist Park…In 25 total starts for Colorado this season, Freeland is 5-13 with a 5.00 ERA (75 ER/135.0 IP).

WIN: The Braves beat the Rockies, 3-1, last night and have won each of the first two games of this series…In six games with Colorado this year, Atlanta has scored 57 runs and has outscored the Rockies by 40 (57-17). Last night was just the third game in the history of Coors Field in which a team collected at least 15 hits but scored no more than three runs…Each of the first two teams to do so – St. Louis on August 21, 1996 and Philadelphia on April 19, 2019 – lost their respective games. All nine Atlanta starters collected at least one hit, the 11th time this season all have done so… That total is most in the majors…Colorado and Philadelphia have both done so eight times to rank second. The Braves have 33 hits through the first two games of this series, and 82 hits in six total games with the Rockies…Atlanta is averaging nine runs and 13 hits versus Colorado this year. Charlie Morton ran his winning streak to four straight games for Atlanta, during which he has allowed just one earned run in 24.0 total innings (0.38 ERA)

SEASON SWEEP?: Atlanta has yet to lose to Colorado this season, going a perfect 6-0…The Braves have swept the season series with Colorado twice before, going 6-0 in 2003 and 13-0 in 1993, the first year of the Rockies franchise. That 13-0 season is one of just two years in the franchise’s modern era they swept a season series of seven or more games with an opponent…Atlanta also did so just last year, going a perfect 7-0 against Pittsburgh. The club did it three times prior to 1900, first in 1876 as the Boston Red Stockings against Cincinnati, going 10-0 against the Reds, who went 9-56 for the year…The second time was as the Boston Beaneaters in 1883…They went 14-0 against the 17-81-1 Philadelphia Quakers…The final time was 1892, when the Beaneaters went 13-0 against the Baltimore Orioles.

AUGUST BULLPEN: Three Atlanta relievers – Pierce Johnson, A.J. Minter and Raisel Iglesias – combined to pitch 3.0 perfect innings of relief with four strikeouts last night. Atlanta relievers have a 2.24 ERA (22 ER/88.1 IP) this month, lowest in baseball.

Tonight’s Starting Pitcher – #64 Darius Vines RHP
2023 Record: 0-0, 0.00 ERA • 2023 MiLB Record: 2-2, 2.70 ERA
vs. RHB: .000 (0-0), 0 HR • vs. LHB: .000 (0-0), 0 HR
Home: 0-0, 0.00 ERA (0/0.0) • Away: 0-0, 0.00 ERA (0/0.0)

Today’s Game

  • Set to make his major league debut. Vines joins Chris Brock as the only Braves starters in franchise history to make their big-league debut at Coors Field…Brock suffered the loss, allowing seven hits, three runs and a home run in 4.0 innings pitched on June 11, 1997. Vines will become the fifth Braves pitcher to make his MLB debut this season. Dylan Dodd, Jared Shuster, AJ Smith-Shawver and Allan Winans also debuted earlier this season. Began the 2023 season on the minor league seven-day injured list with a back injury. Made four rehabilitation starts before rejoining Triple-A Gwinnett. Went 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA and 29 strikeouts in five starts with the Stripers.

COLORADO ROCKIES NOTES:

A MILE HIGH

  • The Colorado Rockies play the third and final game of a three-game set against Atlanta tonight … will face Toronto Friday-Sunday, the Blue Jays’ first trip to Coors Field since 2019 … Colorado is in a stretch of eight-straight opponents with a record of .500 or better. The Rockies are coming off a 1-5 road trip to Tampa Bay (0-3) and Baltimore (1-2) … four of five losses were by two or fewer runs … snapped a streak of 10 consecutive road losses with a win on Sunday.

BE BRAVE

  • The Rockies were swept in a four-game set in Atlanta June 15-18 and were outscored 40-12 in the series … marked their first time getting swept in Atlanta since July 29-Aug. 1, 2013 … gave up 49 hits and 12 home runs in the series. The Rockies have lost eight in a row and 12 of their last 13 against the Braves … were swept in a four-game set the last time Atlanta visited Denver June 2-5, 2022 … the last time the Rockies won a series against Atlanta was a two-game sweep Sept. 14-15, 2021.

ESPRIT DE CORPS

  • The Rockies have used a franchise record 33 total pitchers this season, two more than the 2019 club’s 31 hurlers … the Rockies have also tied the franchise record by using 15 different starting pitchers this season, tied with the 1993 and 2014 clubs for the most starters used in franchise history. The Rockies have used 55 total players, tying a franchise record set in 2011. Left-hander Evan Justice made his Major League debut on Saturday and infielder/outfielder Hunter Goodman debuted Sunday, the seventh and eighth Rockies players this season to make their debut this season.

ROOKIE AND THE VET

  • Hunter Goodman went 1-for-3 with a run scored and his first career triple last night … became the 10th Rockie with at least five hits through his first three career games and first since Raimel Tapia’s six hits through three games from Sept. 2-9, 2016. Goodman is the first player in franchise history to record five hits, including a double and triple, in his first three career games. Since returning from the injured list on Aug. 14, 13-year veteran Charlie Blackmon is hitting .400/.500/.620 (20-for-50) in 14 games … his 30 times on base during that span ranks fourth in the NL. Along with Freddie Freeman, is the only other player in the Majors to have a .300 average since 2016 (min. 1000 games) … Freeman is hitting .312 during that span with 212 home runs while Blackmon is hitting .300 with 169 home runs.

WE TALK TO OUR GUYS

  • 22-year-old Ezequiel Tovar hit his 15th home run of the season last Friday in Baltimore, the fifth rookie in franchise history to hit 15 home runs in a season, joining Wilin Rosario (28, 2012), Trevor Story (27, 2016), Todd Helton (25, 1998) and Troy Tulowitzki (24, 2007). Tovar’s 119 hits are the seventh-most by a rookie in franchise history, the most since Nolan Arenado’s 130 hits in 2013 … his 61 RBI rank sixth by a rookie, the most since Story in 2016 (72 RBI). Nolan Jones is tied for seventh among rookies in franchise history with 13 home runs … his 19.85 at-bats per home run rate ranks fourth among rookies in franchise history (min. 200 PA), trailing Trevor Story (13.78, 2016), Wilin Rosario (14.14, 2012) and Jose Ortiz (15.69, 2001). Jones’ .415 average with runners in scoring position is the seventh-highest all-time among rookies (min. 60 PA) since 1974 when the stat was tracked for the first time. Tovar and Jones are the third pair of rookies in franchise history to each hit at least 10 home runs in a season, joining Luis Gonzalez/Matt Holliday (2004) and Garrett Atkins/Clint Barmes (2005) … they are the only pair to hit at least 13 home runs.

FUTURE’S GOLD

  • Ryan McMahon’s 17 defensive runs saved are tied for the sixth-most in the Majors and are the second-most among all third basemen. Rookie shortstop Ezequiel Tovar’s eight DRS are tied for the sixth-most among all shortstops, tied for fourth in the NL … his .987 fielding percentage is tied with Troy Tulowitzki (.987, 2007) for the best fielding percentage by a rookie shortstop in Major League history (min. 100 games) (via. STATS PERFORM).

STRONG ARMED

  • Rookie outfielders Nolan Jones and Brenton Doyle each rank among the top seven in the Majors in average arm strength … Jones’ average arm strength of 98.8 MPH is the best among all position players, while Doyle’s 96.0 MPH mark ranks tied for sixth among position players, first among center fielders. Doyle’s assist at home on Tuesday was measured at 100.4 MPH, tied for the second-strongest oufield assist in baseball this season and the fastest Rockies tracked outfield assist of the Statcast Era (2015) … Doyle owns four of the top 10 strongest outfielder assists in 2023, and all of the top four by center fielders. Jones (11 assists, T-2nd) and Doyle (eight assists, T-7th) each rank in the top 10 in the NL in OF assists … their 19 total assists are the most by a pair of rookie outfielders since the Rangers’ Adolis Garcia (16) and both Eli White and DJ Peters (3 each) in 2021, per Elias Sports Bureau … the duo also surpassed 2005’s Brad Hawpe (10) and Cory Sullivan (7) for the most outfield assists in a single-season by a rookie duo in franchise history. Doyle’s 12 DRS on the season are the most among all NL center fielders … his active 93-game errorless streak is the second-longest by a rookie in Rockies history behind Matt Reynold’s 94 games from 2010-11, and is the second-longest active streak in the NL. Jones has totaled four DRS in the outfield while starting 31 games in right field and 29 in left … his 11 assists are the most among all rookies this season and the most by a Rockies rookie outfielder in franchise history.

21 ROCKIES STARTING PITCHER KYLE FREELAND LHP

DENVER KID

  • Kyle Freeland will make his 26th start of the season today, his 14th at Coors Field. The 30-year-old Denver native graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, 15 minutes south of Coors Field … selected in the first round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft (eighth overall), the third player in University of Evansville history to be drafted in the first round.

303 VS. 404

  • Has made seven career starts against Atlanta, going 1-3 with a 5.80 ERA (40.1 IP, 26 ER) in those contests … all five home runs allowed to Braves hitters have come at Coors Field. Made a start in Atlanta this season on June 15 in an 8-3 Rockies loss … allowed nine hits with three walks that resulted in seven runs allowed
    shortest start of his career against Atlanta going only 4.1 innings. Has posted a 5.25 ERA (24.0 IP, 14 ER) in four career starts against Atlanta at Coors Field … tossed seven innings of one run ball vs. the Braves on June 4, 2022 in a 6-2 Rockies loss.

LAST TIME OUT

  • Logged his 10th quality start of the year and second of August on Aug. 25 at Baltimore, but did not factor into the Rockies’ 5-4 loss … allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings, surrendering two home runs … left with a 4-3 lead before the Rockies allowed two runs in the eighth inning.

THE DROUGHT IS OVER

  • Earned his first win since May 14 in his last start at Coors Field, Aug. 19 vs. the White Sox, allowing four runs in five innings in an 11-5 win … snapped a streak of nine-straight losing decisions, the longest stretch of his career and the fifth-longest in franchise history.

BACK IN ACTION

  • Has gone 1-3 with a 5.91 ERA (32.0 IP, 21 ER) in six starts since being reinstated from the injured list on July 28 … has allowed three or more runs in each game during that span, but never more than four … placed on the IL on July 14 with a right shoulder subluxation.

SUPPORT SYSTEM

  • Has averaged 3.60 runs of support this season, the fifth-lowest mark among qualified ML pitchers … 4.67 career RSA is the second-lowest in franchise history (min. 50 GS), trailing Shawn Chacon (4.11). Has received a total of 13 runs of support in his last 10 road starts, a 2.66 average that is the lowest on the road in the Majors … has received no runs in six of road 11 starts.

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

  • Gone 4-4 with a 4.68 ERA (67.1 IP, 35 ER), 20 walks and 61 strikeouts in 13 home starts with the Rockies 7-6. Career record of 32-28 (Rockies 53-38) with a 4.76 ERA (480.2 IP, 254 ER) in 91 appearances (88 starts) at Coors Field … 32 wins at home the fourthmost in franchise history, ERA seventh..
World Elite Syndicate

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