Do Rockies have to reconsider Kyle Freeland’s move into the bullpen designed to help control his workload in his rookie season? Can you name the 20 rookies before Cody Bellinger to hit for the cycle? How big a deal was the Twins win against the Astros on Saturday? Bumgarner has a thing about Petco. And the NL wild-card is starting to tighten.
Check it out:
KYLE FREELAND’S move into the bullpen to allow him to catch a breath likely won’t be as long as expected. Freeland, who last Sunday had a no-hitter
for 8 1/3 innings against the White Sox, was expected to spend a week or so in the bullpen, returning to the rotation July 23 or July 24. Antonio Senzatela is expected to be called up in Freeland’s place against the Padres at Coors Field on Tuesday. And Freeland did work three scoreless innings, allowing one walk and striking out four, in the Rockies loss to the Mets on Saturday.
Freeland got called into duty for his first relief appearance to help bridge the innings cap when starter Tyler Chatwood retured one of five batters he faced, giving up four runs, and coming out of the game with right calf strain. He said he felt the injury warming up in the bullpen but wanted to try and pitch through it.
With the expectation Chatwood will be sidelined, Freeland could return to the rotation next Saturday against the Pirates at Coors Field, where he is 5-4 with a 3.23 ERA in his rookie season.
DODGERS ROOKIE Cody Bellinger has been a key part of the team’s offense since his arrival. Saturday he added another piece of baseball history to his resume. In the Dodgers victory at Miami Bellinger became the 21st rookie since 1913 to hit for the cycle. Among the rookies to hit for the cycle was Fred Lewis of the giants at Coors Field on May 13, 2007. His home run was the first of his career. Lewis hit .266 with 27 home runs in a career that spanned seven seasons with the Giants, Blue Jays, Reds and Mets.
Rookies who have hit for the cycle since 1913:
Sources: Stats Inc.
ERVIN SANTANA provided a moment of relief for the Twins with six strong
innings in a 4-2 victory against the Astros on Saturday. It was the Twins third win in 12 games against the Astros since the start of last season, during which time the Twins pitching staff has an 8.14 ERA. Santana is 1-0 in two starts in that stretch, allowing
three earned runs in 13 innings. At the other extreme is Jose Berrios, who is 1-3 with a 8.36 ERA. Twins have given up 25 home runs to the Astros in the 12 games, including six by Carlos Correa in 49 at-bats and five by George Springer in 48 at-bats.
–GIANTS LEFTHANDER Madison Bumgarner, out since April 21 after suffering a second degree right shoulder separation in a dirt bike incident during an off-day in Colorado, returned to the active roster Saturday. He pitched well, but remained winless, getting a no decision in the Giants 5-3 loss to the Padres. Bumgarner allowed three runs in seven innings, leaving with the scored tied. He has allowed three or few runs in all five starts this season but is 0-3.
Petco Park isn’t a favorite place for Bumgarner. He is 4-6 lifetime in the park, one of five NL parks in which he does not have a winning record and one of three in which he has a losing record.
THE STRUGGLES of the Rockies and D-Backs is allowing others to join what had been a two-team battle for the two NL wild-card spots. The Rockies have gone from first to third in the NL West by losing 15 of their last 20 games. The diamondbacks, however, lost for the 10th time in 13 games on Saturday, and are leading the Rockies by only two games for the top NL wild-card spot.
Meanwhile, the Cubs have pulled within 5 1/2 games of the Rockies in the battle for the second NL wild-card with the Braves six games back and Cardinals 6 1/2. Keep in mind, however, the Cubs are 45-45, which means there are only five NL teams with a winning record — the three division leaders, the D-Backs and the Rockies.