Friday, June 2, 2023
Sports Gaming Monitor

MLB Preview: Colorado Rockies (14-22) at Pittsburgh Pirates (21-15)


• The Colorado Rockies and the Pittsburgh Pirates face off for game two of a three-game set this evening … lost 2-0 on Monday night after a complete-game shutout from Mitch Keller, the first opposing pitcher to toss a CGSO against Colorado since Anthony DeSclafani with the Giants on April 26, 2021 in San Francisco.

• The 1:55 time of game was the Rockies’ shortest this season and tied for the second-shortest nine-inning game in franchise history behind a 1:52 game on June 30, 2006 at Seattle.

• The Rockies have won each of their last two series after sweeping the Brewers at home prior to the road trip, their first sweep since June 17-19, 2022 vs. San Diego, snapping a franchise record of 38 consecutive series without a winning sweep … Colorado has also won its last two road series the first time the Rockies have won back-to-back series on the road since April 11-12, 2022 in Texas (2-0) and April 23-24 in Detroit (2-1).

• Prior to this road trip, the Rockies swept the Brewers at home, their first sweep since June 17-19, 2022 vs. San Diego, snapping a franchise record of 38-consecutive series without a winning sweep.

• The Rockies began the road trip taking two of three from the Mets, winning the rubber match Sunday 13-6 … was Colorado’s first series win over the Mets since 2018, when they went 6-1 overall in the matchup.

• The 13-6 win over the Mets was the Rockies highest scoring affair of the season, their most runs in a game since plating 13 on Sept. 9, 2022 vs. Arizona … was their highest scoring road game since also scoring 13 runs at Wrigley Field Aug. 25, 2021 in a 10-inning contest.

• The Rockies trailed 4-3 entering the fifth inning before batting around to put seven runs on the board, Colorado’s most runs in an inning since scoring nine in the third on Aug. 9, 2022 vs. St. Louis … most runs in an inning on the road since May 1, 2021 at Arizona.

• The Rockies have won six of their last eight and are 8-5 through their last 13, a .615 winning percentage that is the fourth-best mark in the NL since April 24 … won four games in a row April 30-May 4 for the first time since Sept. 6-10, 2022.

• Over the last 13 games, Rockies starters have posted a 3.86 ERA (65.1 IP, 28 ER) with 22 walks and 44 strikeouts while the bullpen has posted a 3.51 ERA (48.2 IP, 19 ER) … Colorado hitters are slashing .271/.339/.417 while going 35-for-101 (.347) with runners in scoring position … prior to this nine-game stretch, Rockies hitters were batting .220 (42-for-191) with RISP.

ELITEAS DÍAZ • Catcher Elias Díaz recorded a career-high and franchise-record tying three caught stealings Monday night for the first time in his career … the last Rockies catcher to record three caught stealings in a game was Yorvit Torrealba on April 25, 2008 at Dodger Stadium … Díaz leads the Majors with nine catcher caught stealings and ranks second (first in the NL) with 10 caught stealings overall.

• Monday’s contest featured two “Strike-’Em-Out, Throw-’Em-Out” double plays to end the first and fifth innings … per Elias, it was the first time the Rockies recorded two “Strike-’Em-Out, Throw-’Em-Out” double plays in the same game since Aug. 8, 2006 at Dodger Stadium when Torrealba did so to end the seventh and eighth innings.

• 21-year-old Ezequiel Tovar is 16-for-50 (.320) with eight extra-base hits through his last 14 contests … his nine doubles on the season are tied for the most by any rookie in the Majors while his 12 extra-base hits are tied for the fourth most. • Snapped a career-best seven-game hitting streak and a 10-game on-base streak with an 0-for-3 game Friday, but rebounded to go 5-for-9 with two doubles and one home run over his next two games before an 0-3 night on Monday … it was his first time recording multiple hits in consecutive games and also his first time recording multiple RBI in back-to-back games.

• Went 3-for-4 Saturday night in Queens with one double, one home run and two RBI … his three hits set a career high while his pair of RBI matched a career mark.

• Jake Bird is second in the Majors with 24.0 innings of relief and is tied for fourth in the Majors (tied for first in the NL) with 25 strikeouts out of the bullpen … has posted a 0.49 ERA (17.1 IP, 1 ER) with five walks and 21 strikeouts over his last 11 appearances since April 11.

• Brent Suter’s 22.0 innings of relief rank fourth in the Majors and second in the NL behind Bird … his 1.23 ERA (22.0 IP, 3 ER) is the fifth-lowest in franchise history through a player’s first 14 games (min. 12 IP) to begin their Rockies career and lowest since John Axford’s 0.69 ERA (13.0 IP, 1 ER) in 2015 … lowest ERA through first 14 games with at least 20.0 IP.

• Daniel Bard tossed a scoreless eighth inning Monday in Pittsburgh and has gone scoreless in six of his seven outings on the season (7.0 IP) with four hits allowed, three walks and four strikeouts … the lone run came off a solo homer from Daniel Vogelbach on Sunday at Citi Field.

• Laguna Hills, Calif., native is in his seventh professional season, his first with the Rockies organization.

• Selected by Baltimore in the 19th round of the 2014 First Year Player Draft but did not sign.

• Selected by Philadelphia in the third round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal. State Fullerton.

• On Aug. 21,2020 was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with Nick Pivetta to the Boston Red Sox for Heath Hembree and Brandon Workman.

• Designated for assignment by Boston, Jan. 12, 2023 … acquired by Colorado via trade for cash considerations or a player to be named later, Jan. 17.

• Rated by Baseball America as having the best changeup in the Red Sox system in 2021 and best control in 2022 … also ranked by Baseball America as one of the Red Sox top prospects in 2021 (No. 11) and ‘22 (No. 21).

• Made his Major League debut with the Red Sox on Sept. 11, 2021 vs. Chicago-AL.

• Made his first start of the season last Thursday vs. Milwaukee at Coors Field … did not factor into the Rockies’ 9-6, allowing three runs on seven hits with no walks and one strikeout in five innings … all three runs came on solo home runs … exited the game with the Rockies trailing 3-0 before Colorado scored four in the seventh and five in the eighth in the comeback win.

• Facing the Pirates for the second time this season after tossing 2.1 scoreless innings of relief in the Rockies 14-3 loss at Coors Field on April 17 … allowed just two hits with no walks, one hit batter and no strikeouts.

• Made seven relief appearances across two stints this season before joining the rotation … allowed eight runs on 18 hits across 13.2 innings
(5.27 ERA).

• Has allowed 1.45 walks per nine on the year.

• Opponent’s hitting .321 (25-for-78) against the righty.

• Made his first career Opening Day roster before being optioned on April 18 … recalled on April 28.

• Has made seven Major League starts in his career dating back to his Major League debut on Sept. 11, 2021 … 0-4 with a 9.57 ERA (26.1 IP, 28 ER) in his seven career starts.

• As a starting pitcher in the Majors he has struck out 20 and walked 10 while allowing nine home runs.

• Overall has started 67 of 73 games in his Minor League career dating back to 2017.


THE PIRATES:..Snapped their season-high seven game losing streak with Monday night’s win against the Rockies…Won seven straight games from 4/17-23, their longest winning streak since 2018 (11 games)…Hold a 0.5 game lead over the second-place Brewers in the National League Central coming into today…Have the third-best record in the National League behind the Braves (24-11) and Dodgers (21-15); are also tied for the sixth-best record in all of MLB.

ROSTER MOVES: The Pittsburgh Pirates today selected the contract of outfielder Josh Palacios from Triple-A Indianapolis and recalled right-handed pitcher Luis Ortiz from the taxi squad…To make room on the Major League roster, right-handed pitcher Cody Bolton has been optioned to Triple-A while right-handed pitcher Chase De Jong has been designated for assignment…Palacios will wear uniform No. 54…Ortiz will wear uniform No. 48.

A PROMOTION IS IN ORDER: At the time of his promotion today, Josh Palacios was hitting .469 (23-for-49) with four doubles, a triple, four home runs, 20 RBI, .536 OBP, .837 slugging percentage and 1.373 OPS during his current 12-game hitting streak with Triple-A Indianapolis, which is the second-longest active streak at the entire Triple-A level…Since April 23, Palacios ranks sixth in all of MiLB in batting (.469) and OPS (1.373), tied for second in RBI (20) and tied for third in total bases (41)

ABOUT TONIGHT’S STARTER: Luis Ortiz will make his 2023 debut tonight against Colorado…Ortiz went 2-1 with a 2.23 ERA (32.1ip/8er), 11 walks allowed, 29 strikeouts, two home runs allowed, .174 batting average against and 0.96 WHIP in seven starts this season at Triple-A…At the time of his promotion to the big leagues, Ortiz ranked second in the International League in ERA and first in both batting average against and OPS.

STARTER STEADINESS: Luis Ortiz will be just the sixth pitcher to start a game for the Pirates in 2023, joining Mitch Keller, Vince Velasquez, Rich Hill, Johan Oviedo and Roansy Contreras…The Pirates are one of just four teams (also the White Sox, Blue Jays and Yankees) in MLB this season to use just five starters so far in 2023…Special thanks to Elias Sports Bureau.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN: The Pirates improved to 15-6 (.714 winning percentage) against National League teams with Monday night’s win…The only three teams with a better record against the National League are the Rays (8-1), Tigers (9-2) and Braves (19-7)…The Bucs have now won five of six and 12 of their last 14 games against the senior circuit (Pittsburgh has outscored its National League opponents 92-37 during the 14-game stretch).

35 BUCS: Last night Chris Owings became the 35th different player to appear in a game for the Pirates this season…The Oakland A’s have used a league-leading 40 players while Toronto has used a league-low 29 players…Last year a total of 68 players appeared in a game for the Bucs.

HE’S GOING THE DISTANCE: Last night Mitch Keller became the first Pirate to throw a nine-inning shutout since Jameson Taillon on April 8, 2018, vs. Cincinnati…Keller enters today ranked 10th among all National League pitchers in ERA (2.72), third in strikeouts (56), ninth in batting average against (.214) and 10th in WHIP (1.09).

FAST TIMES AT PNC PARK: Monday night’s game time of 1:55 was the third-shortest nine-inning game in PNC Park history (since 2001), and the shortest since a 1 hour and 51 minute contest against the San Francisco Giants on April 13, 2007 (shortest was 1 hour, 47 minutes on August 25, 2004 vs. Arizona)…Including shortened games, last night was also the sixth-quickest game in ballpark history and the shortest since a 1 hour and 32 minute, five inning game on April 20, 2019 vs. San Francisco.

BUCCO BLANKINGS: The Pirates have recorded four shutouts this season after tossing six in all of 2022 (tied for the second-fewest in the National League last year along with the Rockies)…Mitch Keller has now started each of the last two games the Pirates have shut out the Rockies (he threw 5.0 innings in a combined 7.0 inning shutout with Sam Howard and David Bednar here at PNC Park in game two of a doubleheader on May 29, 2021).

WINNING STARTS HERE: Pittsburgh’s starting rotation has recorded 16 wins, which are the second-most in MLB behind the Rays (19)…Pittsburgh’s starters had a Major-League low 21 wins during the 2022 season…Pittsburgh’s starting rotation has tossed a total of 318.2 innings this year, tied for the fourth-most in MLB behind the Rays (322.2), Marlins (322.0) and Angels (319.2).

TAPPING THE ROCKIES: Chris Owings is a .343 career hitter (82-for-239) with 24 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 37 RBI in 75 games against Colorado…Pittsburgh has won four straight games against the Rockies in the same season for the first time since taking five straight during the 2019 campaign…Pittsburgh is hitting .342 against Colorado this season.

LUIS ORTIZ: The 24-year-old righthander will be making his fifth big league start tonight (first of 2023) after being promoted from the taxi squad earlier today…Tossed 3.0 scoreless innings in his last start on 5/5 at Toledo…Struck out 138 batters in 134.1 innings between Indianapolis and Double-A Altoona in 2022…Entered 2023 as Pittsburgh’s No. 4 prospect according to Baseball America.

vs. COLORADO: Has never faced the Rockies.

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