Braves-Rockies preview

BY foxsports • July 24, 2016

DENVER -- Breaking into the big leagues is a challenge in itself. For Atlanta Braves pitcher Tyrell Jenkins, who will make his third career start on Sunday, scheduling has compounded the task.

Jenkins has pitched in two of the best hittters' ballparks in the National League and is about to take the mound in a third.

Jenkins, who turned 24 on Wednesday, made four relief appearances from June 22 to July 3. His first major league start was a spot start on July 6 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. His second start was Tuesday at Cinncinnati's Great American Ball Park and now Coors Field against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

Jenkins is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA in his six games with 11 walks, nine strikeouts and 20 hits allowed in 20 innings.

In his first start at Philadelphia, he allowed four hits and one run in 4 1/3 innings with one walk and one strikeout. Jenkins threw 64 pitches but wasn't involved in the decision as the Braves lost 4-3.

In Cincinnati, Jenkins threw 107 pitches in six innings and allowed two runs, four hits and four walks with two strikeouts. He again was not involved in the decision as the Braves won 5-4 in 10 innings.

"He's stretched out and good to go," interim Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "The other day (in Cincinnati), he got in that groove after the second inning, that rhythm started kicking in and he was flowing.

"He's very athletic, has all the pitches. It's just the command issue (at times). The thing about the kid is he competes, he just keeps pitching no matter the situation in the game. He's got a big upside."

Tyler Chatwood, who is 8-6 with a 3.83 ERA, will start for the Rockies. He gave up a career-high-tying seven earned runs and eight hits in three innings against Tampa Bay on Tuesday and lost 10-1. Chatwood has lost consecutive starts for the first time this season. And for the first time in 52 innings since May 15, Chatwood allowed a home run -- a two-run shot by Evan Longoria.

In three starts since coming off the disabled list aftr a mid-back strain, Chatwood is 0-2 with a 8.31 ERA. He has thrived on the road, going 5-0 with a 1.30 ERA (48 1/3 innings, 7 earned runs) and struggled at Coors Field, where he is 3-6 with a 6.26 ERA (50 1/3 innings, 35 earned runs).

Obviously, the Rockies hope Chatwood can go deep in the game -- he has pitched into the seventh and beyond eight times this year -- but they added a much-needed arm to their bullpen on Saturday when Scott Oberg was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.

Oberg took the roster spot of reliever Chad Qualls (colitis), who was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 16.

In 27 games with Albuquerque, Oberg is 1-0 with nine saves and a 2.43 ERA in 29 1/3 innings. He has been particularly good lately, going 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 18 games in June and July with six walks and 27 strikeouts in 19 innings.

In those 29 1/3 innings, Oberg allowed one home run, which is notable. He gave up two homers in 13 1/3 innings in nine games with the Rockies earlier this year and allowed 10 homers in 58 1/3 innings in 64 games with the Rockies last year.

"It's just kind of been being a little bit more consistent with everything," Oberg said of his success at Albuquerque that led to his promotion. "Getting ahead in counts and being able to execute all my pitches for the most part when I want to."

Oberg, 26, relieved starter Tyler Anderson in the seventh inning on Saturday night and retired the three Braves batters he faced, two on ground balls. Oberg threw 15 pitches, including 10 strikes.

Before the game, manager Walt Weiss said of Oberg, "He's got plus stuff across the board. It's just a matter of commanding it, and that's what he's doing. His fastball is very lively again.

"We think a lot of the kid, I certainly do. He's throwing the ball very well. So I'm looking forward to seeing him again."

In his first appearance with the Rockies since June 19, Oberg did nothing to disappoint.

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