DENVER -- A sellout Coors Field crowd watched the Rockies fall, 6-0, to the Brewers and be swept in three games in the National League Division Series. But it didn't get to see its favorite son -- left-hander Kyle Freeland -- pitch in the postseason at home.Rockies manager Bud Black, noting
DENVER -- A sellout Coors Field crowd watched the Rockies fall, 6-0, to the Brewers and be swept in three games in the National League Division Series. But it didn't get to see its favorite son -- left-hander Kyle Freeland -- pitch in the postseason at home.
Rockies manager Bud Black, noting that Freeland's 6 2/3 scoreless innings in the NL Wild Card Game on Tuesday came on three days' rest, decided to hold Freeland for Monday. Although German Marquez wasn't bad Sunday -- two runs and five strikeouts in five innings -- the season ended without Freeland getting his first postseason start at Coors Field.
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Before the game, Freeland, 25, threw his support behind Marquez, saying he had "an extremely hot hand." Afterward, he turned his attention to working to put himself in a position where he'll get his chance. Freeland led a youthful, solid starting rotation by going 17-7 with a 2.85 ERA in 33 starts.
"No matter how or when you're defeated, you've definitely got to use that as a motivator to get you going into next year, constantly bettering yourself," Freeland said. "Maybe remember that you didn't make the postseason or you got knocked out in the postseason or you lost a certain game. You want to make sure that doesn't happen again, and you want to do what it takes to make sure that doesn't happen again."
Freeland's ERA was the lowest for a Rockies starter who qualified for the league title in the category, and he is certain to have his name on some Cy Young Award ballots. Baseball Writers' Association of America voters can list five pitchers. The only Rockies pitcher to finish among the top five was Ubaldo Jimenez, who was third in 2010.
Freeland's outing against the Cubs was part of a 1.99 ERA for Colorado's starting rotation in its four postseason games.
"It's exciting, knowing that young guys like us just now really getting into the postseason atmosphere of pitching, it shows that we're not scared of it, we won't back down from it, and we rise to the occasion," Freeland said. "From that Game 163 [a loss at Los Angeles started by Marquez] all the way up until now, starting pitching has been extremely good."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.