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Kris Bryant’s up-and-down first season with the Rockies hit a positive note on Thursday night facing the Dodgers.
Bryant, despite ongoing plantar fasciitis issues, proved healthy enough to play in left field to open Colorado’s four-game homestand against Los Angeles. Bryant had DH’d over his previous two games while dealing with significant pain in his left foot.
“We feel confident about (his health). So does Kris and that’s the main thing,” manager Bud Black said before the game. “This is something he has to manage along with the coaches and training staff. He feels very capable.”
Bryant has been solid since returning from the IL (back) on June 27 with seven doubles, five home runs and 10 RBIs with a .329 batting average.
Bard speculation. Multiple teams are interested in trading for Rockies closer Daniel Bard, according to a Thursday report from MLB.com reporter Mark Feinsand. Bard, 37, is a pending free agent ahead of the trade deadline on Tuesday.
Bard entered Thursday night’s game tied for fifth in the National League with 21 saves this season. The veteran right-hander earned the save in each of his last 12 opportunities with a 0.74 ERA over that span. Bard’s performance is more impressive when you consider he left the game for six years before making his MLB comeback in 2020 with the Rockies.
“The overall career workload is not there,” Black said. “He’s gifted in that he’s got a motion that is free and easy, that is conducive to health and that is sustainable. That overrides the six years of being off. All the guys who pitched into their late-30s or 40s are gifted with an arm action that is durable and fundamentally sound.”
Bard showcased impressive resolve this year to bounce back from a lackluster 2021. Bard went 7-8 last season with a 5.21 ERA.
“He’s learned a lot about himself, his stuff and his style … to put it all together now,” Black said.
Dodgers LHP Julio Urias (9-6, 2.72 ERA) at Rockies RHP Chad Kuhl (6-5, 4.48)
6:40 p.m. Friday, Coors Field
Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM
Kuhl is aiming to rebound Friday following his worst outing of the season last week in Milwaukee. The right-hander got pulled with two outs in the third after giving up five earned runs on five hits. Kuhl has been phenomenal at times this season — including a three-hit, complete-game shutout June 27 against the Dodgers. But Kuhl has dropped off since posting a 9.00 ERA over his last four starts. He is 3-2 lifetime with a 3.41 ERA against L.A. over five starts. Urias has not recorded a loss in over two months (June 12 at the Giants). He is 4-2 over his career in starts against the Rockies with a 5.23 ERA.
Trending: C.J. Cron entered Thursday night ranking among the NL leaders in home runs (22, 7th), RBIs (71, 3rd), hits (107, 7th) and total bases (197, 4th). He is the third first baseman in franchise history to earn an All-Star bid, joining Todd Helton and Andres Galarraga.
At issue: The Dodgers have dominated in recent history against Colorado. The Rockies, entering Thursday night, were 17-40 in their last 57 games against LA. Colorado is 11-19 at Coors Field over that span.
Saturday: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (7-2, 2.49) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (5-7, 4.64), 6:10 p.m., ATTRM
Sunday: Dodgers RHP Tony Gonsolin (11-1, 2.26) at Rockies RHP Germán Márquez (6-8, 5.25), 1:10 p.m., ATTRM