Helton welcomes Hudson to Coors Field
This has been a beautiful day in Denver. The temperature on the Coors Field scoreboard reads 86, the breeze is gentle.
But forgive Braves pitcher Tim Hudson if he thinks he has just arrived at prison and the Rockies’ Todd Helton is the warden.
Hudson is 0-2 with a 7.77 ERA in four career starts at Coors. And Helton is 9-for-1o against Hudson at his home.
What’s funny is the numbers are the total opposite at Turner Field, where Helton is 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies, and has held Helton to 1-for-5.
The Rockies have brought up onetime White Sox right-hander Carlos Torres, who went 2-1 with a 2.88 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Torres, 29, will be used as a long man in the bullpen. Depending on how he’s used the next couple of days, he could be called upon to start Tuesday against the Padres if right-hander Jeremy Guthrie is not ready to return from a recent shoulder injury.
Guthrie, by the way, threw a touch-and-feel bullpen session today and will face hitters at Coors before Saturday night’s game with the Braves.
Braves veteran Chipper Jones announced this spring that this would be his final season. He’s going out with a blast. The Braves have gone 11-2 with him in the starting lineup and Jones has had at least one hit in eight of those 13 starts. He’s hitting second for the Braves tonight.
As Mark Bowman of MLB.com notes, Jones batted just .191 with a home run and a .623 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) in his first 11 regular season games at Coors Field. Since then, however, Jones has batted .356 with 11 home runs and a 1.104 OPS in his past 46 road games against the Rockies. No wonder he has shaken off a sore left knee to be in the lineup tonight.
Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler grew up in the Atlanta area, and the stats suggest he still loves the Braves. Fowler has batted .306 in 20 career games against the Braves. Helton (.332), the sizzling Carlos Gonzalez (.318) and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (.311) also are better than .300 against the Braves.
Now for the lineups.
1. Michael Bourn, CF (.321, 0 HR, 6 RBIs)
2. Chipper Jones, 3B (.273, 4 HR, 14 RBIs)
3. Freddie Freeman, 1B (.280, 4 HR, 19 RBIs)
4. Brian McCann, C (.241, 5 HR, 14 RBIs)
5. Dan Uggla, 2B (.265, 3 HR, 15 RBIs)
6. Jason Heyward, RF (.272, 2 HR, 11 RBIs)
7. Eric Hinske, LF (.357, 0 HR, 4 RBIs)
8. Jack Wilson, SS (.138, 0 HR, 3 RBIs)
9. Tim Hudson, RHP (1-0, 3.60 ERA)
1. Marco Scutaro, 2B (.275, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
2. Jonathan Herrera, 3B (.265, 1 HR, 3 RBIs)
3. Carlos Gonzalez, LF (.310, 7 HRs, 23 RBIs)
4. Troy Tulowtizki, SS (.280, 3 HR, 13 RBIs)
5. Todd Helton, 1B (.236, 4 HR, 17 RBIs)
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF (.282, 2 HR, 12 RBIs)
7. Ramon Hernandez, C (.279, 4 HR, 14 RBIs)
8. Dexter Fowler, CF (.240, 4 HR, 11 RBIs)
9. Guillermo Moscoso, RHP (0-1, 10.80 ERA)