October Confidential: Rockies

Rival players offer inside look at facing NL Wild Card

September 22nd, 2017

How do you beat the Rockies? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the NL Wild Card.

"He throws his fastball hard, and he has a really good cutter off that. He does fade a little bit into his starts. But for those first three, four, five innings, he's electric. All his stuff moves a ton."

-- NL West infielder

• Dress for October: Get Rockies postseason gear

Greg Holland

"He's got a weird slider. It does things it shouldn't. It breaks in different ways. … It's unpredictable, and as a hitter, you don't know what you're going to get."

-- NL catcher

NL Wild Card Game: Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET on TBS

:: NL Wild Card Game schedule and coverage ::

Jake McGee

"He comes right at you. He throws a lot of fastballs. It seems like 95 percent fastballs. The thing about that is: You know his fastball is coming, but it's just good enough that it doesn't get hit that often. It's got to be his spin rate. He works all to four quadrants of the strike zone, and he really pitchers up well, so I think that's what makes him effective."

-- NL West infielder

"He's a guy that's so good at lifting the ball, and he has power to all fields, that you have to find a way to minimize that. Whether it's down or it's changing speeds, you have to do something to get him off-balance. … Moving eye levels, in and out, back and forth. He's good enough that he can hit a pitch if he's looking for it, no matter what it is."

-- NL West starter

Charlie Blackmon

"He's one of those guys where, when you're preparing throughout the year, you don't prepare the same way for him. He's constantly making adjustments, which makes it hard. It's hard to find a consistent hole in him, just because he covers a lot of pitches, whether it's soft, it's hard, anywhere in the strike zone. He can cover it pretty good, and he makes it tough on you. … One time we played him, going into the series, you think maybe down and away is open. You go back there again, and it's not. It seems like it keeps changing with him. Some guys, it stays the same. They hit what they hit. He hits the way people pitch him."

-- NL West reliever

DJ LeMahieu

"He's a unique hitter in that he's so capable of going the other way. Sometimes those types of hitters can prove to be the most problematic, because they let the ball travel more than other guys. So you have to really throw strike 1, because he's so selective. He's so good when he's ahead in the count. First and foremost, you have to get ahead. Then, from there, he's a guy you have to execute against. You have to make the pitch, or he's going to get a hit. You won't get away with a mistake."

-- NL West starter

"He's a guy who hits mistakes pretty well. You throw it over the plate, he's going to hit it hard. He's a guy you really have to execute on, but you like to think if you make your pitches, you're going to get him out. But he [doesn't chase] as much as he used to. He's gotten really good at spitting on certain pitches. He's gotten better as he's gotten older. He's more of a complete hitter now, rather than all or nothing."

-- NL West reliever

"He hits the ball to all fields. You used to be able to get him to chase, sinker down and away, breaking ball in the dirt. But right now, he's staying closed, he's not chasing that much. You throw a pitch away, he knows how to go with it. That's the main thing that he's doing now. He's always hit the fastball, but he'd chase the breaking ball, and that gave him trouble. Now he's not chasing the breaking ball as much."

-- NL West starter