MLB: Reeling Reds aim to apply brakes in opener vs. struggling Rockies
The Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies might find solace in playing each other on Friday night.
One reeling team is guaranteed to halt its slide when the Rockies host the Reds in the opener of a three-game series in Denver.
Antonio Senzatela (1-1, 4.73 ERA) is slated to pitch for the Rockies against promising rookie Hunter Greene (1-2, 5.27) in a matchup of right-handers.
Both teams absorbed sweep-completing losses Thursday. The visiting Rockies fell to the Philadelphia Phillies 7-1 in the finale of a four-game series, and the host Reds dropped a 7-5 decision to the San Diego Padres in the conclusion of a three-game set.
The Rockies have lost four games in a row overall and the Reds three.
Colorado didn’t hold a lead in the final 33 innings of a series that undid much of the progress it seemed to make in racing to a surprising 10-5 start. The Rockies committed seven errors against the Phillies — including two on Thursday — and were outscored by Philadelphia 32-9, which left their season-long run differential at negative-22. That’s the seventh-worst run differential in the game, behind six sub-.500 teams.
“Tough series all the way around,” Rockies manager Bud Black said Thursday. “They got us, for sure, in all areas. We beat ourselves the first two nights. We didn’t help ourselves today. We didn’t score a ton. We didn’t pitch great. We didn’t defend.”
Such lamentations are familiar to the Reds, whose 3-16 start is their worst since they began the 2018 season 3-18.
This year’s Reds have 59 runs, tied for third-fewest in the majors, and rank last with a 5.83 ERA. Cincinnati’s negative-49 run differential is 14 runs worse than the next team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
“This feels the worst,” longtime Reds first baseman Joey Votto said Thursday. “But I don’t remember us having that bad of a start in ’18. This is awful to experience each and every day. We’re competitors, professionally. We’re competitors. Our job is to win. To go out and get smacked around every day is anti-everything that we’re about.”
Cincinnati manager David Bell is trying to stay positive amid the brutal start.
“It is tough to find answers,” he said. “There have been a lot of losses. We just have to keep playing. Mixed into all these losses there is a lot of hope. There were really good at-bats, grinding out. There’s been good pitching. We just haven’t been able to put it all together to win games. That’s the bottom line.”
Senzatela took the loss Saturday after allowing five runs over five innings as the Rockies dropped a 13-0 decision to the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a doubleheader.
Greene made his third career start last Friday, taking the loss after surrendering three runs over 3 1/3 innings in the Reds’ 4-2 setback to the St. Louis Cardinals. The 22-year-old has 16 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings.
Senzatela is 1-1 with a 6.94 ERA in four career starts against the Reds. Greene has yet to oppose the Rockies.
–Field Level Media