Nightmare of Minute Maid Continues to Haunt Rockies
Look at the positive aspect of the Rockies two-game visit to Houston.
Yes, it was one of those coyote-ugly nights on Wednesday, the Astros winning 12-1, pounding starting pitcher Tyler Anderson for nine runs.
But, thanks to the fact the Astros are no longer in the National League, the Rockies don't have to play in Houston every year anymore.
The band box that is called Minute Maid Park has been a nightmare for the Rockies. That left field fence is so close to home plate that when Juan Pierre hit the first home run of his big-league career, he pounded his bat into the ground in frustration because he thought he popped up. He was about to touch first base when he realized he had hit an opposite-field home run.
It should be noted Minute Maid Park had to get a waiver from minimum distance of outfield fences in left field because the Astros were not allowed to tear down the Train Station that sits behind that part of the park.
Since Minute Maid opened in 2000, the Rockies have played 16 series in the ballpark. They took two out of three games in 2008 -- the only time they have won a series in the ballpark. They are 14-33 all-time in Minute Maid Park. In that same period of time the Rockies are 27-23 against the Astros at Coors Field with a 5.23 ERA, nearly a half run lower than the staff's 5.69 ERA at Minute Maid Park.
Sour Taste at Minute Maid
Now, that doesn't make Wednesday's loss any less of a disappointment. Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson gave up three runs in both the first and second innings, and by the time he was removed from the game with one out in the fifth, he had given up nine runs on seven hits -- three home runs and four doubles.
He equaled the fifth largest run total allowed by a Rockies pitcher. It was the 44th time in Rockies history a starting pitcher gave up nine or more runs in a game.
Starting pitchers are 0-43 in those games. The exception? Well, Rockies bullpen coach Darren Holmes managed a no-decision when he allowed nine earned runs in a July 14, 1997 game against the Dodgers at Coors Field. The Dodgers battled to pull out a 14-12, 10-inning win in that game, scoring three times in the 10th.
Anderson's game was only 17th time a Rockies pitcher allowed nine or more runs in a road game.
It's not like Anderson has a history of struggling against the Astros. On July 24, in fact, Anderson pitched 7 /12 innings, allowing one earned run in a start against the Astros at Coors Field. The Rockies eventually lost the game, 8-2, but the Astros rallied from a 2-2 tie to score the final six runs against the Rockies bullpen.
Since that game, however, Anderson has had to battle. He is 0-2 and the team is 0-4 in his four starts beginning July 30, Anderson giving up 21 earned runs in 20 innings in those four starts, and his ERA has risen from a season-low 3.57 to 4.39.
|July 24||Hou||L 8-2||0||0||3.57||7.1||3||2||1||1||3||4|
|July 30||@StL||L 5-4||0||0||3.69||6||3||4||4||1||3||5|
|August 4||@Mil||L 8-4||0||1||4.05||4||7||7||7||3||3||4|
|Aug 9||LAD||L 8-5||0||0||3.94||6||4||1||1||0||1||6|
|Since July 24||9.45||0-4||0||2||2o||21||21||21||7||10||19|
Rockies hitters had their struggles, too. They struck out 17 times, a season-high, the 13th time this season they have struck out 13 or more times in a game. They are 3-10 in those games.
The 17 strikes equaled the fifth highest total in franchise history, and it was the 13th time in franchise history the Rockies struck out 17 or more times in a game. It's worth nothing that eight of those games of 17 or more strikeouts came in extra innings, including a record 20 times in the longest game in Rockies history, a 2-1, 22-inning victory at San Diego on April 17, 2008.
The Rockies were 4-4 in the eight extra-inning games of 17 or more strikeouts, but 0-5 in the games that went the regulation nine innings.
|Aug. 15||at Hou||17||L, 1-12||4/17/2008||at SD||20||W, 2-1 (22)|
|May 13||vs. Mil||15||L, 3-76||7/29/2014||at ChC||18||L, 3-4 (16)|
|May 23||at LAD||15||L, 0-3||5/15/2015||at LAD||18||L, 4-6|
|Aug. 14||at Hou||15||W, 5-1||9/15/2015||at LAD||18||W, 5-4 (16)|
|April 14||at Wash||14||L, 2-6||6/15/1998||at SF||17||W, 4-3 (12)|
|April 29||at Mia||14||L, 0-3||4/13/2001||vs. Ari||17||L, 3-7|
|May 9||vs. LAA||14||L, 0-8||4/21/2002||at Ari||17||L, 1-7|
|May 15||at SD||13||L, 0-3||8/2/2002||at ChC||17||L, 4-6 (12)|
|June 12||at Phil||13||L, 4-5||6/29/2009||at LAD||17||L, 2-4 (13)|
|July 22||at Ari||13||L, 1-6||10/4/2009||at LAD||17||L, 3-5|
|July 24||vs. Hou||13||L, 2-8||9/19/2013||vs. STL||17||W, 7-6 (15)|
|Aug. 5||at Mil||13||W, 5-4||4/30/2017||at Ari||17||L, 0-2 (13)|
|Aug. 10||vs. LAD||13||W, 5-4||8/15/2018||at Hou||17||L, 2-23|
Gerrit Cole struck out 12 Rockies in his six innings, equaling the third highest strikeout total for an opposing pitcher against the Rockies this year, one behind Zack Greinke of the Diamondbacks on July 22, and Freddy Peralta of the Brewers at Coors Field on May 13.
It was the 16th time a starting pitcher has struck out nine or more. Rockies this year. The Rockies a 5-11 in those games, including a 2-1 record against the Astros, who have accounted for three of the nine-or-more strikeout games against the Rockies. In addition to Cole in Wednesday's 12-1 victory, Just Verlander struck out 11 in six innings in Tuesday's 5-1 loss, and Cole struck out nine in an 8-2 loss at Coors Field on July 24.
Greinke is also on the 9-strikeouts-or-more list twice -- with the 13 on July 22, and also nine in 5 2/3 innings of a 2-1 Rockies win in Phoenix on March 31.
Racking Up the K's
|Zack Greinke||July 22||at Ari||1||0||8||13||L, 1-6|
|Freddy Peralta||May 13||vs Mil||1||0||5.2||13||L, 3-7|
|Gerrit Cole||Aug. 15||at Hou||1||0||6||12||L, 1-12|
|Kenta Maeda||May 23||at LAD||1||0||6.2||12||L, 0-3|
|Max Scherzer||April 14||at Was||1||0||7||11||L, 2-6|
|Justin Verlander||Aug. 14||at Hou||0||1||6||11||W, 5-1|
|Rich Hill||June 29||at LAD||0||1||6.2||10||W, 3-1|
|Jordan Lyles||May 15||at SD||1||0||7.1||10||L, 0-4|
|Aaron Nola||June 12||at Phi||1||0||6.2||10||L, 4-5|
|Gerrit Cole||July 24||vs. Hou||0||0||6.1||9||L. 2-8|
|Zack Greinke||March 31||at Ari||0||0||5.2||9||W, 2-1|
|Kenta Maeda||June 30||at LAD||0||1||7||9||W, 3-1|
|Carlos Martinez||July 30||at Stl||0||0||4.2||9||L, 4-5|
|Sean Newcomb||April 8||vs. Atl||1||0||6||9||L, 0-4|
|James Paxton||July 7||at Sea||0||1||7||9||W, 5-1|
|Caleb Smith||April 29||at Mia||1||0||7||9||L, 0-3|