Kyle Freeland and Albert Pujols

I attended 6 Rockies games so far this year and Kyle Freeland pitched in 3 of them. Now so far this year he has been and average pitcher in 22 starts. In fact, his (WAA) wins above average in Baseball Reference is 0.0, which basically means average. He has a 7-8 won-loss record with an ERA of 4.84 which is about average for the park he is pitching him.

Now last night was the third start I saw him pitch this year and I think Kyle Freeland would pay me not to come to anymore of his games. Last night was one example. He gives up multiple runs in the first inning. He settles down but takes a loss in the game. He has done this in all three games I have seen him pitch live.

The first game was April 14th. He gave up 3 runs in the first inning, then pitched 4 scoreless innings. The Rockies scored 2 runs in the bottom of the fifth to pull within one. Freeland gave up 2 runs while getting only one out in the top of the sixth. The Rockies lost 5-2. All the runs were earned game score 29.

Now Freeland had two bad starts to start the year and this start was actually better than his first start. He then had 4 decent starts in a row.

Then I came along again on May 13th. Now to be fair with the weather my friend predicted before the game it would be high scoring. It was. The final score was 14-10. Freeland wasn’t the only pitcher who pitched bad. Zack Greinke was almost as bad. Freeland gave up 8 runs, 6 earned in 4.2 innings. Greinke gave up 7 runs, 5 earned in 4.2 innings. Greinke had a game score of 29 compared to a 10 for Freeland. This is one of the times you don’t want to be a 10. The good news was Freeland gave up only 2 runs in the first. He waited until the third giving up 4 runs then to have his worse inning.

Last night, August 10th Freeland gave up 5 runs in the first inning making it 10 runs in 3 first innings. His ERA in the three first innings for Freeland in these games is 30.0. Freeland actually pitched well giving up only one more run in 3.1 innings. This raised his game score to a mighty 18. So, his average game score to the games I saw him in person is 19. He gave up 18 earned runs in 14.1 innings or an 11.30 ERA.

Now Freeland has an ERA of 4.84 for the year. If you take the times I saw him pitch his ERA would be 4.00.

I thought Albert Pujols awhile ago. However, now I’m glad he didn’t as he gave me a game to remember. He went 4 for 5 with a home run (career number 687) and a double (career number 681). How many people get to see a combined double and homerun total achieved in one night. In fact if you use Bill James’ power speed formula for doubles and homeruns I bet Pujols would be number one.

The only other time I remember seeing Pujols in person was in a 2002 game at Pittsburg early in his career. In that game, thank you Baseball Reference, Pujols was 3 for 5 with a double and a homerun. He drove in 4 runs in a 10 -6 victory. So maybe Pujols should pay me for following him around for the rest of the season. I work cheap but he would need to pay expenses.

The game was a fun game despite having a comfortable lead most of the game. One of the factors is the Coors effect. We have seen big innings before, and we never know when they will come again. Also, it was hot during the game, despite being a night game and so we expected a lot of scoring.

In the top of the sixth Nolan Arenado hit a homerun with two outs to give the Cardinals a 7-2 lead. The crowd gave Arenado a big hand. Now the crowd was about half Cardinal fans but there were a lot of Rockies fans who still love Arenado and they had no bones about cheering for his homer. Then Pujols came up. He actually gave the pitcher Austin Gomber a battle and we talked how Pujols looked better than we expected. Then Pujols hit a long homerun to left. The crowd was even wilder. It was great seeing someone with a great career having a great night.

The most interesting thing at this time of the game was that Arenado and Pujols each came up in the eighth needing only a triple to get the cycle. Mind you the last triple Pujols hit was in 2014, but there were 3 triples hit in this game. Neither got their triple.

Now going into the bottom of the ninth St. Louis led 9-2 and that was with two men thrown out at the plate. Someone forgot to tell the Rockies it was a good night for scoring runs. Then in the bottom of the 9th against Chris Stratton they started the inning with 3 singles. It seemed like they were taking half swings and letting the ball fall in. Charlie Blackman then came up with two men on and hit a popup down the left field line behind third base. I didn’t think the ball would be caught. However, Nolan Arenado made a great play to catch the ball to get the first out. This was good for St. Louis as the next two batters singled to make the score 9-5 with the tying run on deck. The Rockies now had a five percent chance of winning with their best hitter C.J. Cron at the plate. We were into the game. However, Cron struck out and Randell Grichuk grounded out ending the game.

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