Saturday, September 23, 2023

MLB Preview: Colorado Rockies (48-79) at Baltimore Orioles (79-48)



  • The Colorado Rockies continue their six-game road trip this evening with the first game of a three-game series in Baltimore.
  • Following this road trip the Rockies return home for a six-game homestand against the Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays … the Rockies are in a stretch of eight-straight opponents with a record of .500 or better.
  • The Rockies are now a season-low 31 games below .500 … it’s the fifth time in franchise history the club has been at least 30 games below .500, the first time since 2014 … the franchise record for games below .500 is 38, when the 1993 Rockies were 36-74 on Aug. 7, 1993.


  • The Rockies were swept in Tampa Bay to begin the road trip, their 11th time being swept this season … all three losses were last at-bat losses, and the Rockies have been in the lead or tied for the lead in the eighth inning in each game of their four-game losing streak.
  • Sunday-Wednesday, the Rockies lost three consecutive games despite holding a lead entering the eighth inning, the third time in franchise history that they have lost three straight in that manner … the 2008 club lose four straight games when leading after seven, April 20-23.
  • Colorado’s losses Sunday against the White Sox and Tuesday against Tampa Bay came after allowing at least seven runs in the eighth inning, the second time in MLB history a team lost two consecutive games in which they led in the eighth inning or later and allowed seven-plus runs in the eighth inning or later, along with the 1893 Boston Beaneaters (current Braves franchise), who did so on July 6-7, 1893 against the Cleveland Spiders.


  • Rockies Manager Bud Black will manage his 1,000th game with the club on Sunday, joining Clint Hurdle as the only manager in franchise history to reach the mark.
  • Black also managed 1,362 games with the Padres from 2007-2015 … he will become the 11th manager in Major League history to manage at least 1,000 games with two difference clubs, joining Leo Durocher (three teams), Tony La Russa (three teams), Sparky Anderson, Bruce Bochy (active), Terry Francona (active), Bucky Harris, Clint Hurdle, Jim Leyland, Gene Mauch, Bill McKechnie and Bobby Valentine.


  • The Rockies have used a franchise record 32 total pitchers this season, one 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 53 total players, tied for the ninth-most in the Majors and the most players used for the club since setting a franchise record with 55 players in 2011.


  • The Rockies have gone 10-8 all-time against the Orioles, most recently taking two of three from Baltimore at Coors Field in 2019 … have gone 6-6 all-time at Camden Yards, with their most recent visit coming in 2016.
  • The Rockies are in a stretch of three straight and four of five series against American League ballclubs, having gone 15-22 in Interleague play this season … 14 of the Rockies’ 36 games so far after the All-Star Break have come against AL clubs, with the Rockies going 6-8.


  • Ryan McMahon’s 17 defensive runs saved are tied for the fifth-most in the Majors and are the second-most among all third basemen.
  • Rookie shortstop Ezequiel Tovar’s seven DRS are tied for the sixth-most among all shortstops, fourth in the NL … his .986 fielding percentage currently stands as the second-best fielding percentage by a rookie shortstop in Major League history (min. 100 games) trailing Troy Tulowitzki (.987, 2007) (via. STATS PERFORM).
  • Rookie center fielder Brenton Doyle’s 10 defensive runs saved on the season are tied for the most among all NL center fielders … his 95.7 MPH average arm strength ranks seventh among all outfielders … Doyle’s active 89-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.
  • Rookie outfielder Nolan Jones has totaled four DRS in the outfield while starting 31 games in right field and 24 in left … his average arm strength of 98.9 MPH is the best among all position players.
  • Jones’ 10 outfield assists are the sixth-most in baseball and the most among all rookies … tied for the most by a Rockies rookie outfielder in franchise history with Brad Hawpe (2005) and tied for the 12th most in a season by any Rockies outfielder.


  • 22-year-old Ezequiel Tovar ranks in the top 10 among all rookies in franchise history in home runs (14, T-5th), doubles (27, 8th), RBI (57, T-6th) and hits (116, T-7th).
  • Nolan Jones is tied for seventh among rookies in franchise history with 13 home runs … his 18.54 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).
  • 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.


  • RHP Chase Anderson made his first rehab start for Triple-A Albuquerque, allowing three runs on five hits in 2.2 innings pitched … Anderson was placed on the IL on July 28 with right shoulder inflammation.
  • RHP Matt Carasiti tossed a scoreless inning for the Isotopes in his fourth rehab appearance, second with Albuquerque … was placed on the IL on June 30 with right shoulder inflammation.
  • LHP Carson Palmquist made his first start with Double-A Hartford after his promotion from High-A Spokane, tossing seven scoreless innings with four hits, one walk and eight strikeouts.


  • Kyle Freeland will make his 25th start of the season today, his 12th on the road.
  • 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.


  • Has made one career start against Baltimore, May 25, 2019 in a 9-6 Rockies loss … allowed seven runs on 10 hits across four innings, walking one and striking out two.
  • 1-4 with a 6.44 ERA (29.1 IP, 21 ER) in six Interleague starts in 2023 … 0-3 in his three starts in AL ballparks, posting a 6.46 ERA (15.1 IP, 11 ER) while receiving no runs of support in any of the three games.
  • Has gone 5-6 with a 3.78 ERA (85.2 IP, 36 ER) in 16 career starts in AL parks with 10 quality starts.


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


  • Has not won two-straight decisions since his first two starts of the year, March 31 and April 6 … 1-9 with a 6.26 ERA (77.2 IP, 54 ER) over his last 15 starts since May 20.
  • Has gone 1-3 with a 6.23 ERA (26.0 IP, 18 ER) in five starts since being reinstated from the injured list on July 28 … has now allowed three or more runs in each game during that span … placed on the IL on July 14 with a right shoulder subluxation.


  • Has averaged 3.49 runs of support this season, the third-lowest mark among qualified ML pitchers … 4.66 career RSA is the second-lowest in franchise history (min. 50 GS), trailing Shawn Chacon (4.11).
  • Has received a total of 12 runs of support in his last 10 road starts, a 2.34 average that is the second-lowest on the road in the Majors (2.30, Edward Cabrera) … has received no runs in six of road 11 starts.


  • 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 fourth-most in franchise history, ERA seventh..

Season K/9 BB/9 HR/9
2021 7.83 2.83 1.49
2022 6.75 2.73 0.98
2023 5.79 2.58 1.60
Career 6.80 3.04 1.22


  • Has suffered a losing decision in nine of his last 10 road starts, allowing 37 earned runs across 55.2 innings (5.98 ERA) … lost eight-straight decisions prior to his no decision on Aug. 8 in Milwaukee, a 7-3 Rockies win … is the second pitcher in franchise history to lose at least eight-straight road starts, joining John Thomson, who lost 10-straight road starts from Sept. 19, 1998-Aug. 8, 2001.
  • Has not earned a winning decision on the road since his first start of the year on March 31 in San Diego, tossing 6.0 shutout innings with three hits, one walk and one strikeout in a 4-1 Rockies win.
  • Has gone 5-14 with a 4.04 ERA (149.1 IP, 67 ER) in 26 starts on the road over the past two seasons.


YESTERDAY’S NEWS: The Orioles beat the Blue Jays in the rubber game last night, 5-3, moving to a season-high 31 games over .500…Anthony Santander hit a game-tying two-run home run in the fourth inning and Cedric Mullins followed with a go-ahead two-run blast of his own in the fifth…Kyle Gibson earned his 13th win, tying his career high, after allowing three runs in 8.0 innings, the longest outing by an Oriole pitcher this season…Félix Bautista worked a perfect ninth inning to secure his 33rd save, tied for the AL lead.  The Orioles have now won or split 11 straight series against the AL East, the longest such stretch since August 1 to September 30, 2012, per the Elias Sports Bureau.  Gibson’s 13 victories are tied for the AL lead with Tampa Bay’s Zach Eflin and he is one of seven MLB pitchers with at least 13 wins; he’s the third O’s pitcher since 2015 with 13+ victories, along with Dylan Bundy (13) in 2017 and Chris Tillman (16) in 2016.  Baltimore is one of two teams to have multiple pitchers with 12+ wins this season in Gibson and Dean Kremer, along with Atlanta (Strider & Morton); Gibson and Kremer are the first pair of O’s teammates with 12+ wins in a season since Wei-Yin Chen (16), Bud Norris (15), and Tillman (13) all did so in 2014.  Santander has homered three times in two games for the second time this year, joining May 4-5, both at Atlanta; Wednesday was his 13th career multi-homer game.  Mullins’ home run came on the 10th pitch of the at-bat, the most pitches in an at-bat that resulted in a homer in his career and the most by an Oriole since Santander went deep on the 10th pitch on June 27, 2022 at Seattle.

STATING HIS CASE: Gunnar Henderson has hit safely in nine straight games since August 14, the longest hitting streak by an O’s rookie since Kelvin Gutiérrez hit safely in nine straight from September 22 to October 1, 2021 while an Orioles rookie hasn’t recorded a hit in 10 consecutive games since Ryan Mountcastle did so in 13 straight from July 28 to August 21, 2021…Henderson is slashing .375/.405/.675 (15-for-40) with four doubles, one triple, two homers, eight runs scored, 10 RBI, one walk, and one stolen base during his current streak…He leads AL rookies with 4.2 bWAR, 3.0 fWAR, 71 runs, and six triples while ranking among AL rookie leaders in extra-base hits (T-1st, 47), home runs (2nd, 21), RBI (T-2nd, 62), hits (3rd, 103), total bases (3rd, 198), walks (3rd, 47), and doubles (T-4th, 20)…Among AL rookies with at least 400 plate appearances, he ranks second in slugging (.477), third in on-base percentage (.328), and fourth in OPS (.806).  He’s the third rookie in team history to record 20+ doubles, 5+ triples, and 20+ homers, joining Cal Ripken, Jr. (1982) and Ron Hansen (1960), both of whom won AL Rookie of the Year.

Henderson is the ninth rookie in Orioles history to hit 20 home runs in a season and first since Ryan Mountcastle set the O’s rookie record with 33 long balls in 2021.  He is also the fourth O’s rookie to hit six triples and the first since Al Bumbry (11) and Rich Coggins (9) in 1973.  Henderson is three stolen bases shy of becoming the first rookie in team history with 20+ doubles, 5+ triples, 20+ homers, and 10+ stolen bases; he would be the 20th rookie in MLB history with such a stat line, joining Arizona’s Corbin Carroll this year, and first in the AL since Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr. last season.  He leads the O’s with nine Defensive Runs Saved, per Sports Info Solutions; seven of those are at shortstop, tied for sixth in MLB despite playing over 300 fewer innings at the position than anyone ahead of him.

SWEEPLESS IN BALTIMORE: The Orioles have gone 80 consecutive series of at least two decisions (no ties) without being swept…According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that is the most consecutive series without getting swept in O’s history, ahead of 46 consecutive sweepless series from 1971-72…It is the fifth-longest such streak in MLB history, trailing the 1942-44 St. Louis Cardinals (124), 1906-09 Chicago Cubs (115), 1903-05 New York Giants (105), and 1922-24 New York Yankees (83)…The Birds have not been swept in a series of at least two games since May 13-15, 2022 at Detroit (0-3), and not at home in a series of at least two games since August 27-29, 2021 vs. Tampa Bay (0-3).

WHAT’S TRENDING: The O’s have won eight of their last 11 games, nine of 13, 16 of 23, 17 of 25, 30 of 43, and 31 of 46…At 79-48 (.622), the Orioles have the best record in the AL and second-best in MLB (see box at right)…The Birds are 25-13 (.658) since the All-Star break, the second-best record in the AL and tied for the third-best record in MLB during that time…The team had a season-best eight-game winning streak from July 5-16, Baltimore’s longest since a 10-gamer from July 3-13, 2022…The Birds are 141-97 (.592) since June 2022, the second-best record in the AL and fourth-best in MLB during that time.  The O’s hold a 2.0-game lead over the Rays in the AL East.

FEELS GOOD TO BE HOME: The Orioles began a nine-game homestand by winning two of three games against the Blue Jays from August 22-24…The O’s will host the Rockies for three games through Sunday and the White Sox for three from August 28-30 to conclude the homestand.

The Orioles are 38-24 (.613) at home this season, the third-best home record in the AL and the fifth-best in MLB.

AGAINST THE ROCKIES: The O’s and Rockies meet for the first time since 2019 and for the first time at Camden Yards since 2016 this weekend, their lone series this season… Baltimore is 8-10 all-time against Colorado and 6-6 at Oriole Park…The 18 games were tied with San Francisco for the fourth-fewest by the Orioles against one opponent entering this season behind Chicago-NL (16), Cincinnati (15), Los Angeles-NL (15), and St. Louis (15)…The Birds have already played the Giants (3 G), Cubs (3 G), Reds (3 G), and Dodgers (3 G) while they have yet to face the Cardinals in 2023.

MAKING THEIR PITCH: The O’s have a 3.55 ERA (166 ER/420.2 IP) since July 1, the third-best team ERA in MLB during that time behind Seattle (3.25) and Toronto (3.29)…The team has gone 31-16 (.660) over that period…Baltimore posted a 4.33 ERA (346 ER/719.1 IP) through June, ranked 10th in the AL and 18th in MLB.

BIG TIME RUTSCH: Adley Rutschman notched three hits last night, his second three-hit effort in the last six games and his fifth multi-hit game in the last seven…He is batting .448/.515/.552 (13-for-29) with three doubles, eight runs scored, three RBI, four walks, and one stolen base during those seven games since August 16…He leads primary catchers with 34 multi-hit games this year and his 10 three-hit efforts are tied with Washington’s Keibert Ruiz for the most by a primary catcher.  He ranks among AL leaders in walks (4th, 71), on-base percentage (5th, .371), and times on base (5th, 202); the 202 times on base are the fourth-most by a primary catcher in O’s history and six behind Chris Hoiles in 1993.

MOUNT UP: Ryan Mountcastle had his career-high 28-game on-base streak since July 21 snapped last night…The stretch was the longest by an Oriole since Nick Markakis had a 38- game on-base streak from July 5 to August 18, 2009…Mountcastle has recorded a hit in 21 of the last 24 games since July 28 and he hit in season-high 12 straight games from July 28 to August 10…He is slashing .359/.440/.538 (28-for-78) with two doubles, four home runs, 15 runs scored, 15 RBI, 12 walks, and one stolen base in 21 games in August…He ranks among AL leaders this month in on-base percentage (3rd), hits (T-6th), walks (T-6th), batting average (7th), and OPS (8th, .978)…Prior to last night, he had reached safely in all 31 of his starts since returning from the IL on July 9.


QUICK HITS: Scheduled to make his 19th appearance (11th start) of the season, 10th appearance (sixth start) at home, and third career start against the Rockies tonight…Recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on June 10, his third stint with the O’s…Spent the 2022 season with the Athletics; led the team in wins (9), starts (30), innings pitched (181.0), and strikeouts (128)…Posted career-lows in ERA (3.98), opponent batting average (.251), on-base percentage (.293), slugging percentage (.416), and OPS (.709)…Allowed two earned runs-or-fewer in 17 of his 30 starts…Acquired by the Orioles along with RHP Kyle Virbitsky from Oakland in exchange for SS Darell Hernaiz on January 26, 2023…Originally selected by the Phillies in the fifth round of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of Oregon.

LAST TIME OUT: Did not factor into the decision in his last start on August 19 at Oakland, his first start at Oakland Coliseum since being acquired by the O’s from the Athletics on January 26, 2023…Surrendered one run on four hits (1 HR) with one walk, two hit batters, and three strikeouts in 5.0 innings…The Orioles are 5-0 edge in his last five starts since June 26; has not allowed more than one earned run in any of those games…Threw 77 pitches, 54 strikes.

MILE HIGH: Is slated to make his third career start against the Rockies tonight… Earned the win in his last outing against Colorado with Oakland on June 5, 2021 at Coors Field…Permitted one run on six hits with one walk and five punchouts in 6.0 innings…Threw 85 pitches, 59 strikes…Has won each of his two career assignments against the Rockies, pitching to a 3.00 ERA (4 ER/12.0 IP) with two quality starts and a 1.08 WHIP in those games.

HEADING WEST: Making his sixth career appearance (fourth start) against the NL West…Owns a 3-0 record with a 2.60 ERA (8 ER/27.2 IP) and three quality starts in five career outings against the division.

INTERSTELLAR: Is scheduled to make his 18th career Interleague appearance (12th start)…Sports a 4-3 record with a 4.65 ERA (36 ER/69.2 IP) and four quality starts in his 17 career Interleague outings.

KEEPING IT CLOSE: Irvin has allowed one or no earned runs in each of his last five starts since June 26, the longest such streak of his career…Is tied for the fourth-longest active streak among MLB starting pitchers and long]est by an O’s hurler since John Means’ six-gamer from September 8, 2020 to April 7, 2021.

KEEPING IT IN THE YARD: Irvin did not surrender a home run in four consecutive starts from June 26 to August 12, tied for the longest such streak of his career (3x, last: 7/4-22/22 w/ OAK)…Opposing batters slashed .197/.250/.268 (14-for-71) with five doubles against him in those games.

WHAT A RELIEF IT IS: Irvin has made eight relief appearances for the O’s this season, pitching to a 5.40 ERA (7 ER/11.2 IP) in those games…Credited with his first career hold in his last such outing on August 6 vs. New York-NL (1.0 IP, K)…Worked a career-high 4.0 innings of relief on July 18 vs. Los Angeles-NL, allowing two runs on four hits with three walks, a hit batter, and four punchouts.

SWIRVIN’ IRVIN: Irvin has posted a 1-1 record with a 3.00 ERA (15 ER/45.0 IP) in his last 14 appearances (seven starts) since being recalled from Triple-A Norfolk on June 10…Owned an 0-2 record with a 10.38 ERA (15 ER/13.0 IP) in his first four appearances (three starts) of the year.

LIFE IN THE FAST LANE: Irvin has relied on his fastball more than any other pitch this season, throwing it 29.9 percent of the time…Opposing hitters are slashing .229/.286/.443 (16-for-70) against his primary pitch…In 2022, Irvin held batters to a .218/.266/.379 (53-for-243) slash line against his heater.

HIGH TIDE: Owns a 6-1 record with a 3.21 ERA (15 ER/42.0 IP) and five quality starts in seven outings with Triple-A Norfolk this season…Completed 5.0-or more innings in each of his seven assignments…Allowed two earned runs-orfewer in six of his seven starts.

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