Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Holland's woes leave closer gig in question

All-Star closer pulled from save situation vs. Braves
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

ATLANTA -- Closer Greg Holland's problems with his slider have become a major issue for the Rockies.

At least on Saturday night, Holland's issues didn't cost the Rockies a game. After Holland gave up Matt Adams' two-run homer and a subsequent hit with one out in the ninth, manager Bud Black went to Jake McGee, who forced a Brandon Phillips double-play grounder to end a tougher-than-necessary 7-6 victory over the Braves.

View Full Game Coverage

ATLANTA -- Closer Greg Holland's problems with his slider have become a major issue for the Rockies.

At least on Saturday night, Holland's issues didn't cost the Rockies a game. After Holland gave up Matt Adams' two-run homer and a subsequent hit with one out in the ninth, manager Bud Black went to Jake McGee, who forced a Brandon Phillips double-play grounder to end a tougher-than-necessary 7-6 victory over the Braves.

View Full Game Coverage

Holland, who left an 0-2 slider over the plate to Ozzie Albies for a single just before Adams' homer, has given up four homers and 14 runs in 6 1/3 innings over his last eight appearances.

With McGee having closing experience with the Rays and the Rockies, Black is left to decide whether to at least temporarily back away from giving the ninth to Holland, whose outstanding first half helped the Rockies push into playoff contention.

Video: COL@ATL: Black on the steady offensive performance

"We have to address the slider a little bit and make sure we get the right rotation, the good spin on it, see if Greg has anything to say about the slider," Black said. "The velocity's fine. It's just the location of the slider is the problem here, and we've got to get to the bottom of it."

McGee had warmed up in the eighth and was ready. The double play prevented Braves home run leader Freddie Freeman from having a chance to flip the game.

"Me, [Pat] Neshek, [Mike] Dunn, 'Holly' [Holland], we can really pick up each other, and 'Otto' [Adam Ottavino] is throwing better," McGee said. "It's going to be big for us the last month, just for the bullpen to pick up each other in big spots and help us win games."

Holland has converted just two of his last five save chances and didn't stay around long enough for the verdict Saturday. He also gave up a homer to the Brewers' Jesus Aguilar in a tie game that ended up a loss.

On Wednesday night, a slider intended to be down and away went up and in on the Royals' Eric Hosmer, and the result was a three-run walk-off homer and a 6-4 Rockies loss. Saturday's pitch to Adams was in the middle of the plate.

Black didn't commit to a change immediately.

"We'll talk about it, but we've got to make sure there are not other things going on," Black said. "But we feel pretty confident that physically Greg is good. We'll get some things straightened out."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Greg Holland