Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Blue Jays, Rockies close series with young arms

The Blue Jays and Rockies wrap a three-game Interleague series at Coors Field on Wednesday afternoon on short rest, after Tuesday night's game was delayed nearly three hours by a hailstorm. 
The matchup features two pitchers facing their opponent for the first time: Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez and Colorado lefty Tyler Anderson. This is in part because the teams have played one other series in the last six years and in part because of the pitchers' ages.
Anderson, a 26-year-old rookie, has dazzled in three starts with a 2.55 ERA. He has not allowed more than two runs in any start and struck out a career-high eight in his last outing on Friday.
"I hadn't been around him in the Minor Leagues, but I heard all those reports about being able to plug him right in," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He seems to be one of those guys who is in control of his surroundings as a young pitcher. You don't see that. He's been as good as advertised."
Sanchez, 23, has been excellent in the three seasons he's been in the Majors. After excelling as a reliever, he has made an easy transition to the rotation, where he owns a 3.24 ERA this season. He has allowed two runs over six innings in each of his last two starts.
Three things to know about this game
• Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is two home runs from tying the National League rookie record for homers before the All-Star break. Story has 19 home runs with 11 games left in the first half. Albert Pujols (2001) and Dave Kingman (1972) share the record.
• Sanchez has pitched into the eighth inning only once this season, a June 7 start against the Tigers. However, his 99.9 pitches per start ranks 26th among 98 qualified starters.
• Mark Reynolds is the only Rockies player to have faced Sanchez. Reynolds flied out to left field in his sole at-bat against Sanchez on Aug. 20, 2014, while Reynolds was with the Brewers.

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