Colorado Rockies closer struck Greg Holland struck out two in an inning of work at Tuesday’s All-Star Game, the most ever by a Rockies pitcher to appear in the game.
Holland took over for San Diego Padres left-hander Brad Hand to open the eighth and struck out Detroit Tigers outfielder Justin Upton and Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor while working around a single to Indians outfielder Michael Brantley. The 31-year-old right-hander became was the fifth Rockies pitcher to ever be selected to the game and the first since Ubaldo Jiminez in 2010.
Aaron Cook (2008), Brian Fuentes (2006) and Mike Hampton (2001) were the other Rockies to appear in an All-Star Game. The other Rockies to get selected to the game but not pitch included Jason Marquis (2009), Fuentes (2005, 07) and Shawn Chacon (2003). Holland was joined at this year’s All-Star game by teammates Charlie Blackmon, who started in center field, third baseman Nolan Arenado and second baseman D.J. LeMahieu.
Holland has been an invaluable member of the Rockies bullpen after he was forced to miss last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He’s collected a National League best 28 saves and is 1-1 with a 1.62 ERA in 35 appearances.
The Rockies, who went into the All-Star break with a 7.5-game lead over the Chicago Cubs for the second American League Wild Card, signed Holland in January. He spent the first six seasons of his career with the Kansas City Royals and tallied 145 saves with a 2.42 ERA in 309 games. The Royals took him in the 10th round of the 2007 MLB Draft out of Western Carolina.