Brett Anderson does not wait for the game to crawl to him. The Rockies' newest lefty pushes the pace, whipping from one pitch to the next with no time to ponder anything except the now.
"There's less time for your mind to wander in the field," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's definitely nice to play behind a guy like Brett. It seems like he's always in control."
Weiss was prefacing the Rockies' series-capping matchup against the toiling Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday by explaining just how quickly and confidently Anderson works through pitches.
Instead, Arizona ace Wade Miley gave a master class on just how to pitch at Coors Field, forcing 19 Rockies groundouts as the Diamondbacks snapped a four-game skip with a 5-3 victory in front of 29,779 fans in Denver.
Miley pitched tip-top throughout. The Rockies didn't reach second base until the fourth inning, when Michael Cuddyer doubled on a line drive to center field.
But more than doubles, the Rockies double-played their day to a quick end. Miley twisted Colorado into four double-plays (five total including one by closer Addison Reed) — two of them from Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu.
Miley got through eight innings on just 94 pitches. And at the plate, he finished with a career-best three hits. He's responsible for Arizona's two wins this season, including a seven-inning effort against the Giants last week.
If the Rockies (3-4) want to keep pace with Arizona (2-7) in the National League West race to catch the Dodgers, they'll need to figure out Miley at some point.
Maybe the Rockies should ask catcher Wilin Rosario for tips. He doubled twice against Miley on Sunday, going 2-for-2 with a walk. Rosario, perhaps the best hitting catcher in the game, has a career .500 average against Miley, going 8-for-16, with a homer and three doubles.
"I've got my plan against him and I stay with it," Rosario said of Miley. "I just like to swing. That's my plan — to swing. I try to see the ball in the zone and swing hard."
The Rockies' Sunday RBIs, though, belonged to center fielder Drew Stubbs (sacrifice fly to center in the fifth) and third baseman Nolan Arenado (sacrifice fly to center in the seventh).
But it was Anderson who sacrificed the most, allowing 10 hits and five runs (three of them earned) over six innings.
"I felt I had some decent innings," Anderson said. "But two bad pitches and a good performance from their staff decided the game."
Anderson was efficient — he walked only three and two of them were intentional. And he erased two bases-loaded situations for Arizona.
But his slider to Arizona left fielder Mark Trumbo on a 2-and-0 count in the fifth landed somewhere near the frozen yogurt stand toward the left field concourse. It scored two to put Arizona ahead for good, 5-0.
Trumbo was a Rockies killer in the series, homering in all three games — he's also on a four-game home run streak — to up his HR total to five on the season.