Freeland looks sharp in return from injury

September 22nd, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Left-hander , on the injured list since Aug. 21 with a left groin strain, was activated Saturday to start the Rockies’ middle game against the Dodgers, a 4-2 win that snapped Colorado's 12-game losing streak at Dodger Stadium.

“It’s a great thing that Kyle’s getting back out there,” manager Bud Black said before the game. “It shows his determination and his desire to get back on the mound, which is great. He worked hard through this rehab process.”

Black and the Rockies looked to get a few innings out of Freeland, somewhere in the range of 30-40 pitches. With Freeland’s spot due up first in the top of the third, he was pinch-hit for, having thrown two scoreless frames on 29 pitches (21 strikes) while allowing three hits and striking out one. His fastball averaged 92.8 mph -- around his season average -- and topped out at 94.5 mph.

“It felt great,” said Freeland. “Being able to get a couple innings, compete out there against another team and have success, it felt really good to be able to do that again after being down for a month.”

“It was good to see, even though it was a snippet tonight, that was good stuff that he was coming out with,” said Black.

Right-hander Chi Chi González, who was originally slated to start Saturday, entered in relief for the bottom of the third, as was the Rockies’ plan.

Freeland is slated to pitch again on Thursday against the Giants at Oracle Park. Black said on Friday that the Rockies will increase Freeland’s limit to 45-60 pitches in his second outing.

Freeland views the limited time he has to work with in his return as an opportunity to regain his confidence in his abilities.

“Just getting that feeling of going up against hitters and getting outs,” said Freeland. “Seeing the type of movement you want to see on pitches and swings you want to see and having success in that -- that’s pretty much what I’m getting at in this start and my next one.”

Arenado ill

Nolan Arenado was out of Saturday’s lineup. According to Black, the third baseman is dealing with a stomach bug.

“We don’t know how he got it,” said Black. “I don’t know whether it’s food or [something else]. But there’s a man down.”