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 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.
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.”