Pitch count is flexible when starters are sharp

Pitch count is flexible when starters are sharp

DENVER -- If the Rockies' young pitchers can perform like Jeff Francis did Wednesday against the D-backs, the 75-pitch limit will be thrown out the window.

"I'd be more than willing [to let them exceed it]," manager Jim Tracy said. "Actually, I want to."

Francis threw 97 pitches in six innings, helping the Rockies snap a three-game losing streak. Tracy let Francis pitch well past the limit, which was established last month as the club elected to go with a four-man rotation.

Tracy was able to go to a more conventional bullpen setup -- Adam Ottavino in the seventh inning, Matt Belisle in the eighth and Rafael Betancourt for the save -- than the piggy-back method the Rockies have used, where a long reliever takes over for the starter after four or five innings.

"It makes the bullpen better, it makes everything better," Tracy said.