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Rusch, Rockies may be a match

Rusch, Rockies may be a match

PHOENIX - Glendon Rusch wasn't sure he still had a career after the 2006 season, when he was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, or a blood clot in the lungs.

He sat out all of 2007 and began this year with the Padres before he was released after 12 relief appearances.

But since hooking on with the Rockies, Rusch may have found a home. Rusch, who will make a spot start against the D-backs on Saturday in the penultimate game of the 2008 season, has pitched well enough that the Rockies have targeted him as a player they will attempt to re-sign for next season.

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Rusch has worked as a reliever and as a starter for the Rockies, and that versatility is what has impressed manager Clint Hurdle.

For Saturday, it helps that Rusch has pitched well against the D-backs. He has made 19 appearances, including seven starts, versus Arizona. Two of his 11 complete games came against them -- back-to-back starts in 2002.

Pitching matchup
COL: Glendon Rusch (5-5, 5.08 ERA)
Rusch, starting because rookie Greg Reynolds had struggled mightily during his September callup, is making his first start since Aug. 14. Since his last start, Rusch has gone 0-1 with a 3.31 ERA in 13 relief appearances. In eight starts since joining the Rockies, Rusch is 4-2 with a 4.89 ERA.

ARI: RHP Brandon Webb (22-7, 3.24 ERA)
Webb is looking to become the first pitcher to record 23 wins in a season since Curt Schilling and Barry Zito each did it in 2002. Webb has won his last three starts after being unsuccessful in three tries to pick up his 20th win. In his last outing, against the Cardinals, Webb allowed two runs over seven innings. He struck out Albert Pujols to end the seventh with a runner on and the D-backs clinging to a one-run lead.

Tidbits
All the Rockies have left is a chance to derail the D-backs' attempt to finish at or above .500. If the Rockies win the next two, they'll accomplish that. ... Colorado left fielder Matt Holliday was scratched with back stiffness just before Friday's game. Hurdle said Holliday tweaked his back just before the game and the Rockies decided not to risk greater injury. Even though back stiffness cost Holliday a couple of starts last weekend, Hurdle said he isn't worried about a larger problem. ... Outfielder Ryan Spilborghs, who replaced Holliday, has an eight-game hit streak, and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has a six-game streak.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• my20

On radio
• KOA 850

Up next
• Sunday: Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 12-12, 4.13) at Diamondbacks (Randy Johnson, 10-10, 4.11), 2:10 p.m. MT

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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