Rockies get two shots to restart DH road trip against Nats
Credit: Isaiah J. Downing – USA TODAY Sports
The Colorado Rockies are getting used to a sudden change in their schedule, especially on Friday nights.
Last week, Colorado had a game postponed against the New York Mets due to snow in Denver. Friday’s scheduled road game between the Rockies and the Washington Nationals went down in the rain. And, like last week, the Rockies will play a split doubleheader on a Saturday.
Colorado will send Friday’s scheduled starter Austin Gomber (2-4, 4.11 ERA) to the mound for Game 1, and the nightcap will feature Chad Kuhl (3-2, 3.67). The Nationals will see Aaron Sanchez (3-3, 7.16) start Game 1, keeping Friday’s game up, and Joan Adon (1-8, 6.97) start Game 2.
Sanchez is expected to make his sixth career start against the Rockies. In the previous five, he went 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA. Gomber is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in two career starts against Washington.
Adon has never faced Colorado. Kuhl has made four career appearances, including three starts, against the Nationals, going 1-2 with a 5.74 ERA.
The Rockies try to turn things around at the end of what has been a tough road trip. They’ve lost three of the first four games, including a 7-3 loss in Game 1 of the series at Washington, and they’ve lost 13 of 19 games on the road.
The bullpen has been a problem, but the relief corps took a step forward on Friday with the return of Robert Stephenson, who was on the COVID-19 list. In seven of his nine appearances in May, Stephenson did not allow a run.
“It’s a boost,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “I feel like he’s on his way to becoming a consistent performer. It was interrupted several times… it was a bit bumpy. But the way he kicked the ball last season, and when he’s been there the last two times, it’s indicative of what we saw last year. I think he can go on and help us.
To make room for Stephenson on the roster, the Rockies offered reliever Justin Lawrence to Triple-A Albuquerque.
Washington has won back-to-back victories for only the second time in a month, but is a far cry from the team that won the 2019 World Series.
The Nationals, and the rest of the major leagues, got a boost when the league announced Thursday that teams can carry 14 pitchers until June 19, extended from the deadline that was supposed to end on Monday. That helps manager Dave Martinez, who was planning to only have 13 pitchers to work with.
“I think it was a good decision,” he said. “I think they actually (looked at) what was going on in the league and decided that a bit more time would definitely help. So for us, I thought that was a really good thing.
The Nationals are awaiting the results of the second MRI of pitcher Joe Ross, who sprained a ligament in his pitching elbow during a rehab outing. Ross underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017.
–Field level media