The Colorado Rockies will host the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night at Coors Field, among the ballparks in the majors that provides a considerable home-field advantage.
Without fans in the seats, however, the Rockies have been below average at home this season. Despite Friday’s 8-4 win over the Angels, the Rockies are 10-12 at Coors Field with eight home games remaining.
Colorado hasn’t had a losing record at home since 2015.
“It’s nice to have that energy, that little pick-me-up,” Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said of playing with fans in the seats. “Sometimes it’s hard to find, within yourself, when you are going day-to-day. So it’s fun to play in good environments because that gets you going.”
Individually for Arenado, though, Coors Field still provides a boost offensively. He went 1-for-4 on Friday, and is now hitting .306 with seven home runs and a .937 OPS at home, compared to .227 with one homer and a .636 OPS on the road.
Left-hander Kyle Freeland, 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in nine starts, will be on the mound Saturday for the Rockies against Angels starter Jaime Barria, 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA in four games (two starts).
Freeland has faced the Angels once in his career, getting a victory after allowing one run and five hits in six innings in August of 2018. The only Angels hitter with more than a few career at-bats against Freeland is Anthony Rendon, who is 4-for-10 with a double.
The Angels are expecting infielder David Fletcher back in the lineup Saturday, Fletcher has been out since Aug. 30 with a sprained ankle. He went through a full baseball workout Friday at Coors Field and said he’s ready.
“It’s feeling good,” Fletcher said. “I’m pretty much good to go. I’m feeling good and hoping I can get in there (Saturday).”
Fletcher is hitting .313 with 12 extra-base hits and an .814 OPS.
Barria will make his second career start against the Rockies, hoping it will be similar to his first one in May of 2018, when he shut out the Rockies on five hits over 5 1/3 innings, getting the win at Coors Field.
Barria led the club with 10 wins in 2018 at age 21. But last season he split time between the majors and the minors, going just 4-10 with a 6.42 ERA with the big club.
He wasn’t in the starting rotation at the beginning of this season, but found an opening thanks to the club’s pitching problems.
“Every opportunity I get, I try to take advantage of it,” Barria said. “That’s the only thing I can control. I don’t have control of the decisions of the general manager or manager. But I’ve been working hard to keep my focus and give it my all every time.”
–Field Level Media