MLB Insiders: Colorado Rockies

Kevin Correia

After a rainout on Monday, the Pirates host the Rockies in the opening game of a three-game series on Tuesday night at PNC Park. Right-hander Kevin Correia gets the start for the Bucs. The Rockies will counter with lefty Jamie Moyer.

Jamie Moyer feels that someone will eventually break the major league record he set last week as the oldest player to win a game.

That's possible, but the Colorado Rockies 49-year-old left-hander can make that less likely each time he takes the hill.

Moyer gets the ball Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, where the Rockies try to open a delayed three-game series against a light-hitting Pirates team that could use a rare solid home start from Kevin Correia.

This pitching matchup is scheduled to stay the same following Monday's rainout, with a doubleheader now slated for Wednesday, although more wet weather is expected Tuesday.

Nearly 26 years after earning his first major league victory, Moyer (1-2, 2.55 ERA) earned No. 268 last Tuesday. In doing so, he became the oldest player in major league history to win a game at 49 years, 151 days.

Moyer has been far from spectacular in eight starts in Pittsburgh, going 1-5 with a 6.92 ERA, but he'll face a Pirates team hitting a major league-worst .202 and scoring 2.0 runs per game - also lowest in baseball.

Pittsburgh (6-9), though, has one of the best ERAs in the NL at 2.63.

Correia (1-0, 1.50), a career .120 hitter, will unlikely be able to fix the team's offensive woes, but he could give the Pirates a chance to win with a quality performance in his 2012 home debut. However, there weren't many good moments at PNC Park for the right-hander last season - his first with Pittsburgh - as he went 2-8 with a 7.83 ERA in 12 starts.

Correia, expected to take the mound after being scratched Saturday due to pain in his side, improved to 11-3 with a 2.50 ERA in 16 road starts for the Pirates after giving up one run in six innings of a 4-1 victory over San Francisco on April 15.

Right fielder Michael Cuddyer had the game-winning hits as the Rockies won two of three games over the weekend at Milwaukee.

A bruised left big toe kept him out of the lineup Friday, but he singled home the winning run in the ninth inning against Brewers' closer John Axford to give the Rockies a 4-3 victory.

On Sunday, Cuddyer hit a two-run double in the eighth off Francisco Rodriguez, who has 292 career saves and formerly was the Brewers' closer, to put the Rockies ahead, 3-1, in what became a 4-1 victory.

"To be able to get two wins off pitchers of that caliber, it's huge for our confidence," Cuddyer said, referring to the team, which is always Cuddyer's focus rather than himself.

The Rockies signed free agent Cuddyer, 33, to a three-year, $31.5 million contract, their big move over the winter, and he has not disappointed. He's batting .345 (19-for-55) and leads the Rockies in hits (19), doubles (8) and RBI (11).

In addition to a .368 on-base percentage and .636 slugging percentage, Cuddyer, who has hit two home runs, is 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

"We got the Michael Cuddyer I was expecting; a great player," veteran 1B Jason Giambi said. "I watched him for years when he was with Minnesota (and Giambi was in the American League with the Yankees).

"I think he was one of those hidden jewels, and I'm surprised more teams didn't go hard after him. He's a great baseball player."

Notes, Quotes

Wet, cold weather forced the postponement Monday morning of the Rockies' game at Pittsburgh scheduled for Monday night. The teams will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, when the series was to be concluded with a day game. Because the Rockies are off Thursday, their pitching pattern won't change and no one will have to start on short rest later in the week. LHP Jamie Moyer, who had been scheduled to start Monday, will pitch Tuesday, weather permitting, and the forecast is poor. RHP Juan Nicasio will be pushed back from Tuesday to one game of the doubleheader Wednesday, when RHP Jhoulys Chacin is scheduled to make his normal turn. The only other time the Rockies had a game postponed in Pittsburgh was April 10, 1994. This is the 51st time in their regular season and postseason history that the Rockies have had a game postponed by rain or snow.

RHP Matt Belisle has made seven appearances and has allowed one hit and one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings, with no walks and six strikeouts. He also has stranded four inherited runners, including men on first and second with none out Sunday and the Rockies leading, 3-1. Taking over for LHP Rex Brothers, Belisle had to deal with the third, fourth and fifth hitters and retired them on 11 pitches, eight strikes. He got Ryan Braun to pop to first, Aramis Ramirez to fly to right and struck out Corey Hart looking. Opposing hitters are 1-for-24 (.042) against Belisle this season.

SS Troy Tulowitzki began a three-game series at Milwaukee in a slump, defensively and offensively, but that is a thing of the past. He didn't play April 18, giving him two days off before the Brewers' series because the Rockies were off April 19. To that point, Tulowitzki had one hit in his previous 14 at-bats and had made six errors, equaling his 2011 total, including two two-error games in a four-game span. He had three errorless games at Milwaukee, where he had two hits in each game and went 6-for-13 with a double, a home run, three RBI and three runs.

3B Chris Nelson was given a chance to get the bulk of the playing time when Jordan Pacheco was optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs on April 15. At the time of that move, Nelson was batting .273 (6-for-22) with two RBI and five strikeouts. He has since gone 5-for-21 (.238) with two doubles and two RBI, with six strikeouts and no hits in his last seven at-bats. It's not like Pacheco's departure has altered Nelson's outlook. "All I can think about is being the best baseball player I can be," Nelson said. "I've never been one to think about who's behind me or who's ahead of me. I just play my game. It's gotten me to where I am."

Rockies pitchers have not gone consecutive games without yielding a home run, but have a chance to do so when the series begins at Pittsburgh. Opposing batters have hit 17 home runs in 15 games against the Rockies and have failed to go deep in only three games—April 8 at Houston, April 12 against San Francisco and Sunday at Milwaukee.

1B Jason Giambi, who has made three starts, is batting .273 (3-for-11) with one RBI and is 2-for-4 as a pinch hitter. But Giambi has drawn five walks, including three in his first start April 8 at Houston, and has a .500 on-base percentage. The ability to draw walks has helped Giambi compile a career on-base percentage of .404. With 1,319 walks, he is tied for 37th all-time.

By The Numbers: 2.78—ERA in the past five games by the Rockies' starters. They are 3-0 in 32 1/3 innings in that span, allowing 16 hits and 12 runs, 10 earned, and nine walks with 20 strikeouts.

Quote To Note: "To think that 11 or 12 games into the season that I had as many errors as all last year? That's a crazy stat. But I finally stopped thinking, 'Oh my gosh, is this really happening?' That's done. Let's move on." —SS Troy Tulowitzki, who made six errors in his first 11 games, with two two-error games in a four-day span, but played three errorless games over the weekend at Milwaukee.

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