The Colorado Rockies' plan for their starting staff has shown dividends lately, but they still haven't figured out a way to improve their fielding.
After having their season high-tying five-game win streak snapped, the Rockies will try to have an error-free game while beginning another run Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.
Manager Jim Tracy put his starters on a 75-pitch limit when Colorado went to a four-man rotation in the middle of June, and he plans to stay with it even though his team is back to a five-man rotation following Jhoulys Chacin's return from the disabled list.
"You have to have a group of pitchers who go out there and understand what quality major league pitching is all about. That's the message we're trying to instill here," Tracy told the team's official website. "If they go out there and do it right, they can pitch deep. I can promise you that."
Rockies starters have thrived lately, posting a 2.00 ERA over the last six games, but the bullpen couldn't protect a one-run lead in Friday's series opener at Wrigley Field.
After Brett Jackson hit Chicago's third solo homer of the day, Joe Mather singled in the go-ahead run during the eighth inning of a 5-3 win. Colorado's two subsequent errors in the frame led to an insurance run for the Cubs.
The Rockies' 95 errors are among the most in the majors.
Alex White (2-6, 5.55 ERA) will try to help Colorado (50-74), which has won nine of 12, bounce back while being more efficient with his limited pitches. The right-hander has a 3.38 ERA in five starts since being recalled from the minors Aug. 2 after posting a 6.45 ERA in 10 starts before being sent down June 25.
White is winless in his last nine starts and hasn't pitched past the fourth inning in each of his last four outings. He had a 29-pitch opening frame Monday against New York and threw 83 over four innings of a 3-1 victory.
"Eighty-three pitches in four innings, we want better than that," Tracy said.
White will make his first start against the Cubs (48-76), whose .219 average in August is their worst of any month in 2012. Chicago also has its highest ERA (4.97) of any month this season.
Brooks Raley (1-2, 7.63) will try to help his club lower that mark while building on his first major league victory. In his third career start, the left-hander gave up four runs and five hits over 5 1-3 innings to beat Cincinnati 9-7 last Saturday.
"You always hear the first (win) isn't easy. The first one is definitely a tough one to get out of the way," Raley told the team's official website.
That victory was one of the Cubs' five over the past 23 games, but they have won three of four at Wrigley Field.
Chicago is 3-7 in its last 10 against Colorado but has taken 13 of the past 16 meetings at home.
- Colorado Rockies
- Chicago Cubs