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

Season W-L SvOP IP H R ER HR BB SO
2008 2-1 1-2 26 20 13 12 1 14 17
2018 1-1 0 17 19 14 14 5 8 33
2010 1-1 0 17 16 7 3 1 4 12
2013 1-1 1-1 20.2 14 4 4 0 7 20
2011 2-2 1-1 38 37 25 24 2 13 32
2000 1-2 0-1 25 21 19 19 4 17 22
2006 1-2 1-1 25 26 16 15 5 6 20
2012 1-2 1-2 25 23 13 9 4 7 15
2002 1-2 1-2 26.1 35 23 23 6 13 17
2003 1-2 0 25.1 38 23 21 5 12 14
2009 1-3 0-1 35.1 42 16 14 3 15 24
2007 1-3 0-3 36.1 42 29 29 7 16 16
2015 0-2 0 16 20 14 14 6 7 19
2005 0-3 0 24 25 19 16 2 10 13
2001 0-3 0 24 33 26 24 4 11 22
2004 0-3 0 24 26 18 16 7 10 15 ERA
Minute Maid 14-33 6-14 405 432 278 256 62 169 294 5.69
Coors Field 27-23 15-22 454 535 288 264 68 130 340 5.23
Total 41-56 21-36 859 967 566 520 130 299 634 5.45

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.

Rough Road

Player Date Opp W L IP H R ER HR BB SO
Kent Bottenfield 8/5/1993 Cin 0 1 4 11 11 10 0 3 1
Denny Stark 4/16/2004 StL 0 1 2.1 10 11 8 4 2 2
Darryl Kile 7/2/1998 Sea 0 1 2 10 10 10 2 1 2
Mark Redman 4/26/2008 LAD 0 1 6 7 10 10 1 5 1
Tyler Anderson 8/15/2018 Hou 0 1 4.1 7 9 9 3 3 4
Andy Ashby 6/6/1993 Phi 0 1 3.2 13 9 9 0 2 5
Pedro Astacio 6/18/2001 Hou 0 1 5.2 7 9 7 0 4 4
Willie Blair 6/24/1993 SF 0 1 3.1 8 9 9 3 2 1
Shawn Estes 5/7/2004 ChC 0 1 2.2 7 9 9 0 5 0
Jon Gray 5/19/2016 StL 0 1 3.1 8 9 9 0 3 3
Mike Hampton 7/28/2001 LA 0 1 2.1 9 9 9 2 2 1
Jason Jennings 4/17/2003 Ari 0 1 4.1 11 9 5 2 1 4
Joe Kennedy 4/10/2005 SF 0 1 4.1 10 9 8 0 1 3
Darryl Kile 8/25/1999 Pit 0 1 5.2 13 9 9 1 2 4
Mike Saipe 7/1/1998 Sea 0 1 4 13 9 9 4 0 1
John Thomson 4/6/1998 Hou 0 1 6 12 9 9 2 1 3
Masato Yoshii 8/17/2000 NYM 0 1 5 10 9 9 2 5 3

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.

Date Opp Team W L ERA IP H R ER HR W SO
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
Wednesday @Hou L 12-1 0 1 4.39 4.1 7 9 9 3 3 4
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.

2018 Opp SO Result Date Opp SO Result
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

Player Date Tm W L IP SO Result
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