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Holland has rare miscue in loss to White Sox

Rockies' reliable closer surrenders homer in ninth inning
MLB.com

DENVER -- Greg Holland has been so automatic this season that a hiccup is seemingly out of the question.

But Holland, whose 28 saves lead the Major Leagues, served up a middle-middle fastball to Tim Anderson leading off the ninth in Saturday's 5-4 loss to the White Sox, negating the Rockies' eighth-inning rally. Anderson's homer was just the second Holland has given up this season, following a Paul DeJong solo home run May 28.

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DENVER -- Greg Holland has been so automatic this season that a hiccup is seemingly out of the question.

But Holland, whose 28 saves lead the Major Leagues, served up a middle-middle fastball to Tim Anderson leading off the ninth in Saturday's 5-4 loss to the White Sox, negating the Rockies' eighth-inning rally. Anderson's homer was just the second Holland has given up this season, following a Paul DeJong solo home run May 28.

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Holland said the mistake was more mental than physical, and leaving a fastball catching that much of the plate -- especially in a 1-2 count -- is a bad combination.

"I didn't really have great command of my fastball, and I just thought I could maybe catch him looking," Holland said. "I was trying to go down and away and I missed in the middle of the plate. … You can't do that with two strikes, so that's something that'll really [tick] you off as a player."

Anderson apparently enjoys playing at Coors Field, too, as his two longest home runs of the season have come in the first two games of this series. Against Holland, Anderson said he was looking for the fastball the whole at-bat.

"I had a feeling he was going to try to challenge me with a heater in," Anderson said. "They had been kind of coming in all game, so I just never got off the heater."

Rockies starter Jeff Hoffman shouldered some of the blame as well, saying he didn't have his best command. Hoffman was particularly upset about giving up the White Sox fourth run, a sacrifice fly to an opposing American League pitcher in Jose Quintana.

"I'm not happy with what I threw at all," Hoffman said. "I put Greg in a bad situation there at the end of the game and he should never have to come in and deal with something like that. He should be coming in with a one-run lead."

With as much experience as he has closing games, Holland said he doesn't see a difference between entering in a tie or close game.

"I typically don't like to give up any runs ever," Holland said. "Tie game, one-run game, two-run game, especially here. You've got to be pretty locked in mentally from the get-go."

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies, Greg Holland