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Rotation juggling gives Guthrie another shot to start

The SportsXchange

Because Christian Friedrich took a line drive off his leg, the Rockies are giving Jeremy Guthrie a start. It very well could be an audition for Colorado's four-man rotation, given the latest poor start by Josh Outman.

Friedrich was hit in the right calf by a line drive off the bat of San Diego's Logan Forsythe in the first inning of his last start Saturday. Rather than have Friedrich, who stayed in the game and pitched five innings, come back as scheduled Wednesday, the Rockies will give him an extra day of rest and have Friedrich start at St. Louis on Thursday.

That adjustment, in turn, will push Drew Pomeranz back from Thursday to Friday at Washington. With the extra day of rest, both Friedrich and Pomeranz will pitch on the fifth day.

Guthrie will start in place of Friedrich on Wednesday, and manager Jim Tracy said Guthrie would not be under the same 75-pitch limit as those in the four-man rotation.

Guthrie last started June 17 and has since made four relief appearances. The first two were on the road and resulted in Guthrie throwing a combined 6 1/3 scoreless innings. The past two were at Coors Field, and Guthrie threw a combined six innings and allowed six runs. He has been much better on the road (3.89 ERA in eight games, six starts and 37 innings) than at Coors Field (9.44 ERA in seven games, five starts and 34 1/3 innings).

Before a 9-3 loss to the Cardinals on Monday, Tracy would not say whether Guthrie was getting a spot start or a chance to pitch his way back into the rotation. The latter option seems more likely after Outman, who is from St. Louis, lasted three innings and threw 70 pitches, more of which were balls (36) than strikes (34). Outman only gave up two hits, one of which was a homer to Matt Holliday in the third. But Outman walked five and threw two wild pitches.

The first run off him came on Carlos Beltran's sacrifice fly in the first. It came after Outman walked John Jay and threw a wild pitch in the process of walking Holliday. During that at-bat, Jay then stole third, putting himself in position to score when Beltran hit a fly ball to right field.

Outman left with the game tied, 2-2. Losing pitcher Tyler Chatwood gave up five hits, two walks and four runs in 2 1/3 innings and threw half of his 64 pitches for balls. He gave up a leadoff walk in the fifth, followed by Holliday's single and Beltran hitting into a run-scoring fielder's choice. Allen Craig followed with a two-run homer and homered again for the Cardinals final run in the eighth.

Chatwood has made two appearances since being recalled Friday from Class AAA Colorado Springs. In those two games, Chatwood has allowed nine hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings with three walks and one strikeout.

Outman is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA overall. In his four starts since the Rockies went to a four-man rotation, past six starts, Outman is 0-1 with a 9.60 ERA (15 innings, 16 earned runs).

"I haven't been able to carry what I worked on between outings over into a game," Outman said. "It's just been a comedy of mistakes on my part. Falling behind in counts and then everything else. You can see what good hitting teams in that scenario.

"One of my problems so far has been limiting the big inning. I guess I was able to do that tonight, but the rest of it, it only goes so far. When you don't get ahead of batters, there's only so long that the floodgates will hold."
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