Black­mon’s 14 homers not enough to ad­vance

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pa­trick Saun­ders Wil­fredo Lee, The As­so­ci­ated Press — Ben­jamin Arthur, The Den­ver Post

MI­AMI» You couldn’t blame Char­lie Black­mon if he felt a tad out of place.

There he was, sur­rounded by the most pow­er­ful slug­gers in baseball, in­clud­ing New York Yan­kees rookie Aaron Judge, who smashed four home runs of more than 500 feet en route to win­ning the Home Run Derby on Mon­day night at Mar­lins Park.

“Home runs aren’t my thing,” Black­mon said be­fore the event. “It’s def­i­nitely not just (bat­ting prac­tice) for me. You come watch my BP, I’m flip­ping balls over the short­stop. I’m go­ing to have to do some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent.”

The Rock­ies’ all-star cen­ter fielder cer­tainly did that.

The bearded won­der rep­re­sented, hit­ting 14 homers in the first round at an av­er­age of 413 feet. His long­est blast trav­eled 434 feet and his av­er­age exit ve- loc­ity was 103.6 mph, ac­cord­ing to Stat­cast.

Un­for­tu­nately for Black­mon, he lost a heart­breaker to the Dodg- ers’ Cody Bellinger. The L.A. rookie hit his sec­ond 440-foot homer with five sec­onds left to earn 30 sec­onds of bonus time, and then blasted the two homers he needed to oust Black­mon, 15-14.

Bellinger ad­vanced to the sec- ond round, where he was de­feat- ed by Judge.

“I had a great time,” Black­mon said. “It was a lot of fun, and I was glad to be a part of it all.”

Rock­ies bullpen coach Dar­ren Holmes, who pitched to Black- mon, was thrilled with Black- mon’s ef­fort but dis­ap­pointed he didn’t ad­vance.

“It was a blast to be a part of this,” Holmes said. “Char­lie did a great job. He didn’t miss very many. He prob­a­bly missed three or four that were right there. He popped some up or hit some duck hooks, but he did great.”

Added DJ LeMahieu, Colora- do’s all-star sec­ond base­man and Black­mon’s close friend: “He did awe­some. He got on a nice roll too, hit­ting about five or six in a row.”

Asked if he met his own ex­pec- tations, Black­mon replied: “My goal was to hit one, and I did 13 bet­ter than that.”

Rock­ies’ Home Run Derby par­tic­i­pants, re­sults over the years

When cen­ter fielder Char­lie Black­mon was elim­i­nated in the first round of the Home Run Derby on Mon­day night, he did so as the Rock­ies’ 11th en­trant in the con­test. Here is how the pre­vi­ous 10 fared in the an­nual slug­ging show­case (Car­los Gon­za­lez and Larry Walker twice apiece): 2016, Petco Park, San Diego. Car­los Gon­za­lez: Elim­i­nated af­ter the first round with 12 home runs. 2014, Tar­get Field, Min­neapo­lis. Troy Tu­low­itzki: Hit six home runs, tied for sec­ond among NL par­tic­i­pants (fifth over­all). Elim­i­nated af­ter the sec­ond round.

• Justin Morneau: Hit two home runs (tied for sec­ond-to-last over­all). Elim­i­nated af­ter the first round.

2013, Citi Field, New York. Michael Cud­dyer: Fin­ished third with 15 home runs. Elim­i­nated in the semi­fi­nals.

2012, Kauff­man Sta­dium, Kansas City, Mo. Car­los Gon­za­lez: Tied for fifth place with four home runs. Elim­i­nated af­ter the first round.

2007, AT&T Park, San Fran­cisco. Matt Hol­l­i­day: Tied for third place with 13 home runs. Elim­i­nated in the semi­fi­nals.

2001, Safeco Field, Seat­tle. Todd Hel­ton: Tied for sec­ond-to-last with two homers. Elim­i­nated af­ter the first round.

1999, Fen­way Park, Bos­ton. Larry Walker: Four-way tie for fifth place. Elim­i­nated af­ter the first round.

1998, Coors Field, Den­ver.

Vinny Castilla: Fin­ished third with 12 home runs. Elim­i­nated in the semi­fi­nals.

1997, Ja­cobs Field, Cleve­land. Larry Walker: Fin­ished in sec­ond place, hit­ting 19 home runs. 1996, Veter­ans Sta­dium, Philadel­phia. El­lis Burks: Fin­ished sec­ond-to-last with one home run.

1994, Three Rivers Sta­dium, Pitts­burgh. Dante Bichette: Tied for fourth place with three home runs.

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