Rockies Have Remedy for Losing Streak: Freeland On Mound vs. Rays Tuesday Night

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After back-to-back wins at Marlins Stadium to open the season the Rockies have fallen into a funk.

They have lost three in a row. The offense has been in a funk, but the pitching hasn't been much better. In losing the final two games to the Marlins and then Monday night's opener of a three-game series against the Rays, the Rockies have been outscored by a combined 17-4 margin.

Can Kyle Freeland come to the rescue, again?

He gets the call in Tuesday's game. And Freeland is on a roll that began in the final two months of 2018 and certainly carried into Opening Day against the Marlins when he gave up two hits and one run in seven innings.

With that victory he equaled a club record by winning his ninth consecutive decision for both a starting pitcher and any pitcher. Ubaldo Jimenez set the record for a starting pitcher winning nine consecutive decisions from May 15-July 8, 2010. Rex Brothers won nine in a row out of the bullpen May 15-June 8, 2013.

The nine consecutive winning decisions has come over a 12-game stretch in which the Rockies are 11-1. In the loss, Freeland departed after 6 2/3 innings with the scored tied at 2-2, and the Rockies eventually lost 3-2 against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium last Sept. 18.

Freeland has allowed three runs only twice in the 12 games, giving up a total of 18 runs, and allowing a .221 batting average.

The Streak

source: Stats, Inc.

Freeland has had particular success in inter-league play. He has won all six starts in his career against AL Team, one of 12 pitchers to win six or more inter-league starts in a row at the start of their facing teams from the other league. What's more, Freeland has a 1.63 ERA in that stretch. The record for consecutive winning starts without a loss in inter-league games is eight, set by Brett Tomko from 1997-2000, and later equaled by Justin Verlander (2006-2008) and Cliff Lee (2004-2007).

Horacio Ramirez (2003-2007) and Jeff Weaver (2000-2001) each began their interleague competition by going 7-0. Freeland is among seven players to start of 6-0, but he is the only one of the 12 pitchers to start off 6-0 or better to have his winning streak still alive.

source: Elias News Bureau

Freeland finished fourth in NL Cy Young voting last year, after setting a franchise ERA record at 2.85, including 2.40 at Coors Field. His 17 wins equaled the second most in Rockies history. But he was more than a 17-game winner. The Rockies won 23 of his 33 starts, the most wins in games a pitcher has started in a single season in franchise history. When Ubaldo Jimenez set the franchise record with 19 wins in 2010, the team was 22-11 in his starts, one less victory than the Rockies claimed on days Freeland pitches in 2018.

source: Stats, Inc.

And he does quality work. He allowed just that one run in seven innings at Miami last Thursday, and a year ago he registered a quality start -- six or more innings and three or fewer earned runs allowed -- in 24 of his 33 starts, just one shy of the club record 25 quality starts set by Jimenez in 2010. Only six times in franchise history have the Rockies had a pitcher with as many as 20 quality starts in a season, and two of those came last year -- Freeland and German Marquez, who had 20 quality starts in 2018.

source: Stats, Inc.

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