Sat, 10 Jun 2023

Rockies, Diamondbacks still have plenty to play for

Field Level Media
13 Aug 2022, 22:05 GMT+10

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies -- barring a turnaround by one or both -- aren't competing to reach the postseason this season, but that doesn't mean they're not playing for something.

Players are finding a meaning in these mid-August games, especially Colorado outfielder Wynton Bernard.

Bernard made his major league debut in Friday's 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks in Denver, 10 years after he was drafted in the 35th round in 2012. He played 863 games in 10-plus minor league seasons before starting in center field and batting eighth. He had one hit in three at-bats.

With his debut out of the way, the 31-year-old Bernard can settle into his role -- though a temporary one -- with the Rockies, who continue their three-game series with Arizona on Saturday night.

Colorado will send Jose Urena (1-3, 4.63 ERA) against Zac Gallen (7-2, 3.12) in a battle of right-handers.

Bernard joined the 40-man roster to replace Yonathan Daza, who landed on the 10-day injured list with a dislocated left shoulder.

"It's a special moment," Bernard said. "After how many years I've played I'm finally here. It's amazing. I'm finally here."

Bernard got his first hit and was in the middle of the winning rally when the Rockies scored twice in the seventh inning Friday night. He also stole a base and scored a run.

"I want to do everything I can to help the team win," he said. "In a big situation like that, to come through for the team, it was huge."

Colorado will try to make it two straight versus the Diamondbacks on Saturday with Urena making his second consecutive start against Arizona. He allowed three runs in six innings in Sunday's loss at Arizona, his seventh start for the Rockies since being added to the roster in early July.

He has faced the Diamondbacks four times (two starts) in his career with no decisions and a 6.17 ERA.

Gallen, meanwhile, has pitched well against the Rockies in his career -- a 3-1 record with a 2.79 ERA in 10 starts. He has been sharp in his past four outings heading into Saturday, going 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA. He tossed seven shutout innings against Pittsburgh on Monday night.

Arizona will be much better rested for the second game of the series than it was for Friday night. The Diamondbacks were delayed seven hours leaving Phoenix on Thursday and sat on the tarmac due to a mechanical issue with their charter plane.

They arrived in Denver approximately 5 a.m. on Friday.

"I gave the boys the afternoon off and we stayed off the field, which we will typically do when we come to town," manager Torey Lovullo said. "I felt the energy was good and the focus was good. We all knew what happened (Thursday) night. We were talking about it, we put it to bed and were ready to go."

Lovullo will be away from the team Saturday to attend the memorial service for Nicole Hazen, the wife of general manager Mike Hazen. Nicole passed away this week from glioblastoma, which was diagnosed in July 2020.

Bench coach Jeff Banister will fill in for Lovullo, who is expected back for Sunday's game.

--Field Level Media

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