Brett Anderson struggled mightily in his first MLB action in three months, giving up five runs on seven hits in his first inning of work. The Rockies were game, making it close in the middle innings, but the bullpen faltered once more, as it has so many times this year, turning a close match into a laugher late.
In response to the five run first by the Twins (all the scoring came with two outs), the Rockies came back with two runs in the first and two more in the second. Both teams scored a run in the sixth, making it 6-5 entering the seventh inning. Unfortunately, Rockies relievers then combined to allow seven runs on eight hits (including two homers by HR Derby participant Brian Dozier) from then on to make it 13-5. In the game the Twins outhit the Rockies 18-13 and had seven extra base hits to Colorado's five. Also important was the fact that the Twins were a robust 6-12 with runners in scoring position while the Rockies were a paltry 1-10.
Several Rockies finished off the first half strong on offense, as both Nolan Arenado (two doubles) and Justin Morneau paced Colorado with three hits apiece while Troy Tulowitzki and DJ LeMahieu each added a double among their two hits. Tulo finishes the first half with an absurd .345/.435/.613 line with a 177 wRC+. Would that a MVP award would follow.
Anderson did settle down after that first inning, allowing only an unearned run on three hits and a walk in his next four innings of work, but you can't just throw out that bad first frame. In all, Anderson was credited with six runs (five earned) on ten hits and three walks, striking out four to raise his season ERA to 4.95. He needed 93 pitches to make it through five innings this time out - the hope is that he will revert back to his efficient self as he gets back in rhythm. If he doesn't...well, that $12 million option the Rockies hold on Anderson will probably go un-exercised.
On the plus side, Rockies prospect Rosell Herrera, a SS/3B in High A Modesto. really represented the Colorado organization well in the MLB Futures Game. Serving as the DH for the World team, Herrera went 2-2 with two line drive singles in the game, a 3-2 victory by USA over the World.
With today's loss, the Rockies concluded the first half of the 2014 MLB season with a 40-55 record, which is good for fourth place in the NL West, 13 games out of first place. As a comparison, the 2013 Rockies were 46-50 at the All-Star break and the 2012 squad were 33-52. I believe that the final record for these Rockies (presuming better health) will end up much closer to the former's 74 victories than it will to the latter's 64, but it would still require the Rockies to go 34-33 in the season's second half to match last year's win-loss total. Yuck.
Stay tuned for All-Star break coverage by Purple Row, especially the Home Run Derby tomorrow night - in which Tulo and Morneau will participate. In terms of Rockies action, you'll have to wait until next Friday the 18th, when Colorado will take on Pittsburgh on the road.
We Salute: Arenado (0.223 WPA)
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Deutschland über alles, wear a cup Kurt Suzuki, screw Flanders.