DENVER -- Two pitchers considered fundamental building blocks for their respective teams will be on the mound Saturday night at Coors Field.
Tyler Anderson will be seeking his first career win for the Colorado Rockies and will oppose Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff
Anderson has pitched well in five career starts, posting a 3.03 ERA but he is 0-3 due to little run support. Colorado has scored a combined four runs when Anderson has been in games and has lost his last four starts.
Anderson has done his part, allowing three runs or less in each start and two or less four times. He also has pitched at least six innings three times and made it past the fifth in each start.
Eickhoff is one the centerpieces of last year's deadline trade that sent Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers. Like Anderson he has a respectable ERA of 3.30 and a losing record at 6-9.
Eickhoff has allowed two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts, including Monday against Atlanta when he allowed two runs and five hits in 7 2/3 innings. During his last seven starts, he is 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA (11 earned runs, 39 hits and 44 innings)
The 26-year-old, is one of several promising young starters in the Phillies' rotation. He follows Vince Velasquez, who gave up eight hits and two runs in six innings Friday night and was the winning pitcher in the Phillies' 5-3 victory.
Velasquez is 8-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 15 starts with 74 hits allowed in 78 2/3 innings, 26 walks and 93 strikeouts. He was on the disabled list June 10-27 with a biceps strain, time off that manager Pete Mackanin said gave Velasquez, 24, who is in his first full season in the majors, time to regroup mentally as well as let his arm heal.
"He's going through a learning process," Mackanin said. "He's got the stuff to be very successful, obviously. He's not really a polished pitcher, but he's got good enough stuff to have that good of numbers. It gives you an indication of how good he can be in the future."
Young arms has been the theme of the series so far for both teams.
Jon Gray preceded Anderson Friday and allowed three hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He was charged with two of the runs on pinch hitter Tommy Joseph's three-run homer off Jake McGee.
Gray is in his first full season in the majors and like Eickhoff and Anderson and Velasquez, he is gaining valuable experience while learning to ply his craft at the highest level and not being unsettled by his surroundings. For Gray, that means adapting to Coors Field, a challenging place to pitch.
"I've come to like throwing here," Gray said. "Just the way the plate looks, everything else looks, (how) the mound feels. I just have a comfortable feeling now. I'm not sure how many starts, but I've had a few. I'm comfortable with it."