Rockies turn to Chris Flexen in bid for sweep of White Sox

Rockies turn to Chris Flexen in bid for sweep of White Sox

Todd Helton returned to Coors Field on Saturday night as part of a season-long celebration for the Colorado Rockies, who began play in the National League in 1993.

Helton is one of the most iconic players in Rockies history and a reminder of better days — a 2007 World Series appearance and his 2000 NL batting title when he hit .372.

Although this version of the Rockies might finish as the worst in franchise history, a weekend series against the Chicago White Sox has provided some optimism.

Colorado followed its 14-1 win over Chicago on Friday with an 11-5 victory in the rain on Saturday night. The Rockies have a chance for their first three-game winning streak since June 11-13.

The Rockies will send Chris Flexen (1-5, 7.74 ERA) to the mound on Sunday against Chicago’s Dylan Cease (5-6, 4.32) in a matchup of right-handers.

The White Sox have lost three games in a row and six of their last seven. At 48-75, they have the same record as the Rockies.

“There is energy — at times we lose it, but then we get it back,” Chicago manager Pedro Grifol said after Saturday night’s loss. “It comes and goes during the game, and it’s really unacceptable. We’ll talk about that.”

Flexen has pitched better in his last three starts than he did in his debut with Colorado. He picked up a win at St. Louis on Aug. 4 and has a no-decision in his last two outings.

Flexen is trying to rediscover his success from two years ago, when he won 14 games for the Seattle Mariners.

“The last couple years, the track record for me, I’ve been able to throw pitches for strikes at any time,” Flexen said. “My year in 2021, that was my biggest thing, getting out of jams and really limiting damage. I gave up the long ball here and there, but I was able to limit damage throughout the course of the year. I’m trying to get back to that.”

Flexen has faced the White Sox twice in his career, both in relief, and has not given up an earned run to them.

Cease doesn’t have much more experience against the Rockies. He lost his only career start against them at home on Sept. 14, 2022, when he allowed three runs on six hits in five innings.

The lone highlight for Chicago in the series opener was Elvis Andrus hitting his 100th career home run on the first pitch of the game. Andrus, a 15-year veteran in the twilight of his career, has become a mentor for 23-year-old Lenyn Sosa, a fellow Venezuelan.

“I’ve been talking to him a lot since last year,” Andrus said. “I got to the league when I was 20, so I can understand what’s going through his mind. … It’s not about just being in the big leagues, it’s about staying. For you to be able to play for years here, you have to produce.”

—Field Level Media

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.