If you’re a pitcher, Coors Field isn’t your friend.
The stadium’s elevation (5,200 feet) is far and away the highest in Major League Baseball. The thin air makes it difficult for pitchers to keep the ball in the yard.
But none of that had an effect on Arizona Diamondbacks’ right-hander Rubby De La Rosa Tuesday night.
De La Rosa took a shutout into the eighth inning of the D-backs’ 5-1 win. The Rockies finally got on the scoreboard when Tony Wolters scored from third base on a wild pitch with nobody out in the eighth.
In fact, De La Rosa became the first Diamondbacks pitcher to ever complete seven scoreless innings at Coors Field. Ian Kennedy (2010), Randy Johnson (2007) and Shawn Estes (2005) all got through six scoreless frames.
“Very impressive,” manager Chip Hale said. “He did the things we talked about before the game. He established inside, which really allowed him the ability to throw the slider and get away with maybe some sliders that weren’t as good as others.”
Charlie Blackmon led off the first inning with a single off of De La Rosa, and took second base on a balk. But from there, the 27-year-old settled down, striking out Trevor Story and Carlos Gonzalez and getting Nolan Arenado to foul out to first base.
In all, De La Rosa (4-4) allowed just four hits, struck out six and walked one. His 7.1-inning stint tied for the longest by an Arizona starter all season.
“Everything,” De La Rosa responded when asked what was working for him Tuesday. “These guys have a good lineup. I tried to keep the ball down tonight and I had a good breaking ball tonight. So everything was perfect.”
Goodbye, Rubby Tuesday.https://t.co/F1gmz3aaEw
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) May 11, 2016
Success at Coors Field isn’t new for De La Rosa. He’s 3-0 lifetime in the ballpark and his ERA of 2.73 is the sixth-best among pitchers who have thrown 25 or more innings at Coors. Only two starting pitchers, Mark Prior (1.80) and Johnny Cueto (2.61) have better ERAs than De La Rosa in Denver.