RUSIN DE­LIV­ER­ING CON­SIS­TENT QUAL­ITY IN RE­LIEF

Who’s on first? Got ques­tions about the Rock­ies or Ma­jor League Base­ball? Ask Den­ver Post staff writer Pa­trick Saun­ders.

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - — Pa­trick Saun­ders, The Den­ver Post

»den­ver­post.com/rock­ies

The Rock­ies are slid­ing hard right now, but left-han­der Chris Rusin is one player who’s been a sta­ble force all sea­son.

The pitcher who started the sea­son work­ing es­sen­tially as a long re­liever is be­ing used more and more in high-pro­file, latein­ning sit­u­a­tions. Re­gard­less of his role, Rusin has de­liv­ered.

He pitched a per­fect sev­enth in­ning Thurs­day af­ter­noon, strik­ing out one, in the Rock­ies’ 6-3 loss to Cincin­nati. He is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA in 33 ap­pear­ances and 47 in­nings pitched.

“He’s been real big,” said man­ager Bud Black, not­ing that en­ter­ing spring train­ing Rock­ies pitch­ing coaches Steve Foster and Darren Holmes were push­ing Rusin for a spot in the start­ing ro­ta­tion. “They went on and on about Rusin. We were go­ing to give him a le­git­i­mate op­por­tu­nity to do that, un­til he strained his oblique. But Chris has pitched re­ally well for us.”

One of Rusin’s trade­marks has been an abil­ity to in­duce ground­ball outs in key sit­u­a­tions.

“I guess you would call him crafty, but he can still bring it at 92 mph, which is pretty good for a lefty,” fel­low left-handed re­liever Jake McGee said. “He knows how to pitch down in the zone re­ally well. But he also stud­ies the scout­ing re­ports.

“For ex­am­ple, Chris knows that if he throws a two-seamer in­side to a right-han­der who’s an ag­gres­sive hit­ter, he’s go­ing to get a ground­ball more of­ten than not. The thing I like about Chris is that he’s al­ways pre­pared.”

Reynolds fin­ishes fourth.

First base­man Mark Reynolds placed fourth in the fi­nal vote for a Na­tional League spot in the All-Star Game, so he will not be go­ing to Mi­ami next week.

Two third base­men won the fi­nal vote for the first time in the com­pe­ti­tion’s 16-year his­tory. The Dodgers’ Justin Turner set a record with 20.8 mil­lion votes, while the Roy­als’ Mike Mous­takas (15.6 mil­lion votes) was the Amer­i­can League win­ner.

Foot­notes.

Out­fielder Ger­ardo Parra, out since June 7 be­cause of a strained right quadri­ceps, was sched­uled to play nine in­nings Thurs­day night for Triple-A Al­bu­querque and should be back in the Rock­ies’ lineup Fri­day. … Left-han­der Tyler An­der­son was back in the club­house Thurs­day after hav­ing arthro­scopic surgery on his left knee Mon­day. He is ex­pected to be side­lined about four weeks. “They went in there and cleaned it up and got me all right,” An­der­son said. “I’m not re­ally sure of the ex­act terms, but they went in there and pulled out some floaters, and I feel bet­ter now.”

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