Colorado has designs on contention this season, with a deep lineup, and a stable of good, young starting pitchers. So far what has stood out in the early going is the look of their bullpen, which has excelled to date.
Seven relievers have pitched so far for Colorado, who took three of four games against the Brewers in Milwaukee. That group has allowed only three runs in 14⅓ innings, with 19 strikeouts and seven walks.
The Dodgers have had similar success out of their seven relievers, allowing two runs in 13 innings, with 12 strikeouts and two walks.
Bullpens are seemingly always an issue at Coors Field, where it’s hard to pitch deep into games. In 2016, the 15 National League ballparks saw an average of 85 starts of at least six innings. Coors Field was last with 70 such starts, six fewer than any other park (Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati had the second fewest).
Relievers could see some work early in the series, with both clubs sending out fifth starters on Friday. Hyun-jin Ryu gets the call for the Dodgers, after stretching out to five innings during the spring, and after one MLB start in the last two seasons.
Dave Roberts said that 80 to 90 pitches is a realistic target for Hyun-Jin Ryu on Friday. Second MLB start for the lefty since 2014.— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) April 6, 2017
Colorado will hand the ball to left-hander Kyle Freeland on Friday, making his major league debut. He follows Anthony Senzatela, who struck out six in five scoreless innings in his major league debut on Friday in Milwaukee.
One more bullpen note: the Rockies are actually carrying eight relievers, as part of a 13-man pitching staff. German Marquez is the one Rockies reliever who hasn’t yet pitched. Jake McGee has pitched in just one game, allowing a single to the only batter he has faced.
Time: 1:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA, MLB Network