Chad Kuhl had an impressive home debut for the Colorado Rockies, but he could have done better.
He tossed six shutout innings in a 4-1 win over Philadelphia on Monday before leaving the game with tightness in his right hip and right flexor.
It was still enough to earn his first win of the season. Now, he’ll go for his second when Colorado wraps up a three-game series at the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
The teams split a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, with Detroit winning the opener 13-0 and the Rockies taking the night game, 3-0.
The mood in Detroit should be less anticipatory for Sunday’s game. Slugger Miguel Cabrera got his 3,000th career hit in the first inning of Saturday’s first game to become the 33rd major-leaguer to reach that milestone.
“I’ve never been a part of any sort of big milestone,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “We just don’t know if we’re going to see another (3,000 hits) in our baseball lifetime or our whole lifetime.”
Cabrera has been a part of some great Detroit teams, which include a four-year run of winning the AL Central and reaching the World Series in 2012. The 2022 version is one that is still building, with plenty of young players and pitchers.
One of those young pitchers is scheduled to start Sunday afternoon. Tyler Alexander (0-1, 4.26 ERA) is making his third start of the season and the first of his career against Colorado.
Kuhl (1-0, 0.87) has made a good impression in his first two starts for the Rockies after signing with them in March. He has limited opponents to a .118 average and has allowed just two hits in each of his first two starts.
Despite leaving the win over the Phillies early, he is staying on schedule in the rotation.
Kuhl entered the season 25-30 in his career that started with Pittsburgh in 2016, the only year he finished with a winning record.
Colorado manager Bud Black gave him some pointers before the start of this season that Kuhl seems to be taking to heart and making the advice work.
“The thing that I’ve talked to him most about is, with his stuff, stay on the attack and stay in the strike zone or just right off,” Black said this week. “When you have big misses as a pitcher, a lot of times it’s harder to get back in the strike zone. If he can get to the point where his delivery and release point finish is near and around the plate, he’s going to stay near and around the plate.”
Kuhl has been impressive in the early going. He has surrendered just one run on four hits in 10 1/3 innings and fanned nine.
He will be facing the Tigers for the sixth time in his career and fifth as a starter. In his previous games against them he is 3-0 with a 4.37 ERA. His lone relief appearance against them came last year in Detroit.
–Field Level Media