By Doug Hoffacker
DENVER (CBS4) – This final weekend of the season could be one of the biggest in Colorado Rockies history. Their seven game win streak has them on the verge of capturing their first-ever National League Western Division title.
Tonight, the Rockies picked Kyle Freeland as the starting pitcher. This moment in time isn’t lost on Freeland. Kyle was born in Denver about a month after the Rockies franchise first game in 1993.
His family dressed him in a onesie as an extra extra small Rockies fan.
Freeland played baseball and graduated from Denver’s Thomas Jefferson High School, and was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 35th round of the 2011 draft.
But he didn’t sign with the Phillies. He got better in college, and three years later, the Colorado Rockies selected Freeland in the first round with the eighth overall pick.
Freeland made his first start with the Rockies April 7, 2017, when he beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, earned his first win and had his first major league hit.
He was the first starting pitcher in 51 years to make his Major League debut in his home team’s opener in the state in which he was born.
Freeland’s having a great season this year, with 16 wins and only 7 losses, and an ERA of 2.84, quite low considering he pitches half his games in the thin air of hitter-friendly Coors Field.
He’s in the conversation in the Cy Young Award voting, the annual honor for best pitcher in the league. His win total is tied for third most in the National League, and his ERA is fourth lowest.
Tonight’s 6:10 PM start is early due to fireworks after the game. The Rockies expect it to be a sellout.
If the Rockies win tonight, they at least clinch a tie for the playoffs. Any combination of 2 Rockies wins or 2 losses by the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Rockies clinch a Wild Card spot.
Any combination of 3 Rockies wins or 3 Los Angeles Dodgers losses, and the Rockies win their first Western Division championship.
Rocktober would start next week.