Rockies' No. 1 starter Jhoulys Chacin was breathing easier Saturday, believing that his injury is not a strained left oblique muscle as he feared Friday night.
The big right-hander left Friday night's game in the seventh inning with pain in his left side and lower back, but he said Saturday that it was in better shape.
"I'm feeling way better," Chacin said. "I don't think it's the oblique, maybe just something in my lower back. Like in spring training. That's the same spot. I was able to do some exercise, and if it was an oblique I couldn't do it. "
Chacin missed a Cactus League game because of lower back spasms, but it cleared up quickly.
Chacin is off to a terrific start. He improved to 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA after beating the Diamondback at Coors Field on Friday night. He felt pain on his 99th pitch and then came out of the game on his 100th pitch, cringing as he tried to throw. He became the first Rockies starter to reach 100 pitches since June 12, a streak spanning 117 games, the longest in the majors since STATS began logging it in 1988.
To be sure, Chacin did not suffer anything more serious than back spasms, team doctor Tom Noonan was scheduled to exam Chacin Saturday afternoon. The pitcher also is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.