Rockies' Chad Bettis Throws 7 Shutout Innings in 1st Start Since Beating Cancer

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 15, 2017

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 14:  Starting pitcher Chad Bettis #35 of the Colorado Rockies delivers to home plate during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field on August 14, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. Bettis is making his first start of the season following treatment for testicular cancer. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis didn't show any rust on the mound as he made his 2017 debut in Monday's game against the Atlanta Braves.

Bettis went seven shutout innings, allowing six hits and striking out two batters. It was his first start since he underwent treatment for testicular cancer. The Rockies tweeted out his introduction before the game:

Bettis received a congratulatory tweet from Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jameson Taillon, who underwent treatment earlier this year after being diagnosed with testicular cancer:

Bettis first revealed to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick in December that he had surgery after being diagnosed with cancer. The 28-year-old began chemotherapy in March after the cancer returned. Two months later, he posted a photo on Instagram announcing his chemotherapy was over:

Prior to Monday's start, Bettis made six minor league appearances across the Double-A and Triple-A circuits. He went 0-3 with a 4.24 ERA in 23.1 innings.

His return to the Rockies will provide a big emotional boost to his teammates, and more tangibly, he gives Colorado another veteran starter during a key point of the season.

The Rockies entered Monday night 18 games back of the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers but were tied with the Arizona Diamondbacks atop the NL wild-card race. Bettis could be a key piece of the rotation as the franchise looks to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2009.

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