Colorado Rockies: Greg Holland shell-shocked after Wild Card defeat

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 24: Greg Holland
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 24: Greg Holland /

Colorado Rockies closer Greg Holland is still reeling from Wild Card loss to in-division rival Arizona…

Colorado Rockies closer Greg Holland is no stranger to postseason baseball. He was the hammer in the back-end of the Kansas City Royals bullpen during their 2014 and 2015 playoff runs, leading to a total of two Fall Classic appearances, with the latter leading to their first World Series title since 1985.

After missing the entire 2016 campaign while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Holland did not miss a step, returning to All-Star form. At the mid-season break, Holland had a 1.62 ERA,  a rarity while pitching in the thin mile-high air of the Rocky Mountain state. That ERA deflated season’s end to 3.61 ERA, although he still converted  41 out of 45 save opportunities.  After that near-disastrous second half, Holland posted a remarkable turnaround in September,  going 5-5 in save opportunities, posting a 1.13 ERA and 0.50 WHIP in the process.

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He then was given a huge opportunity, that he later squandered, by allowing three key runs in the Rockies 11-8 loss in the NL Wild Card game against hated rival Arizona. After the game, Holland was shell-shocked when he met with the eager media following the disappointing loss:

"When a team in your division rattles off 102 wins, it comes down to a one-game scenario and one team has to lose. It’s unfortunate."

The Rockies and Holland are approaching a $15 million contract option on the All-Star closer, where it’s unknown whether he will return to Colorado or go elsewhere. If he does return, Holland believes the Rockies can take that next step in 2018:

"I really felt like, if we get out of the first game, we have a team that could end up winning the World Series."

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Playing in the National League West has done the Rockies no favors over the years, but if Holland decides to return, the Rockies will be good enough to take that next step and even win their first division title in club history.