Cincinnati Reds: Don’t be fooled by series loss in Colorado

The Cincinnati Reds dropped the weekend series to the Colorado Rockies. The dynamics of playing at Coors Field can cloud your observations. Don’t be fooled.

The Cincinnati Reds fell to the Colorado Rockies 10-9 on Sunday evening, losing the series 2-1. While it was not the best showing from the Reds’ pitching staff, the bats exploded to outscore the Rockies 28-22. However, if you think Great American Ball Park is a hitter-friendly place to play, Coors Field is on another level. Don’t put too much stock in the latest series.

Now, obviously the games occurred and the Reds now sit 6.5 games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. However, chaos ensued over the weekend and the Reds did not lose any ground in the race for the final Wild Card spot. Cincinnati still sits 4.5 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies.

But, if we take a deeper dive into the numbers that the Reds and Rockies put up this weekend, you’ll begin to see why it’s unfair to make an evaluation of the team’s performance. This includes the explosive offense and the woeful pitching.

If you’re a pitcher playing at Coors Field, you probably feel like you should pack up your bags and head back to the minors. I’m sure that’s how Tyler Mahle felt after allowing 12 hits and 10 runs (6 of them earned) in 4.1 innings of work. The opposing pitcher, Antonio Senzatela didn’t fare much better. Senzatela went 5.1 innings, allowing 7 hits and 8 runs.

By the same token, most hitters must feel like they’re playing in little league where every hitter gets the chance every inning to swing the bat. For the series, the Cincinnati Reds racked up 39 hits and 28 runs. The Rockies had 37 hits and 22 runs. After a low-scoring game on Friday’s opener, the thin Colorado air gave way to an offensive onslaught.

Congratulations to Phillip Ervin, who went 7-for-10 (.700) during the series and tied a club-record of 6 hits in a game on Saturday night. Both he and Nick Senzel were just a home run away from the cycle that evening. Senzel was hitless on Friday and Sunday, but finished the series going 4-for-11 (.363).

Not to be outdone, Yasiel went 4-for-10 (.400) with a home run and 4 RBIs. He didn’t even start on Sunday due to knee soreness. There was also José Peraza who looked like his old self. The team’s leader in hits last season went 5-for-7 in the series with a home run and 5 RBIs.

But, as good as the offense was, the pitching was equally as bad. Both Mahle and Tanner Roark were lit up for 4 runs in the 1st inning. The Cincinnati Reds were able to overcome the deficit on Saturday night, but fell just short of a comeback yesterday.

Robert Stephenson didn’t let the high altitude affect him at all. The former first-round pick was dealing in his lone appearance over the weekend. Bob Steve went 2 innings, didn’t allow a hit, and struck out 4 batters. The same cannot be said for David Hernandez.

Hernandez is the one player that I feel is completely fair to evaluate based on his performance. He was dreadful during his two appearances in the series and David Bell, who I’ve defended throughout most of the season, made a big mistake bringing him on both occasions.

David Hernandez has entered Zach Duke territory after going 0.2 innings of work over 2 games, allowing 4 hits, including 2 home runs, and striking out just 1 batter. Bell needs to reevaluate how he’s going to use Hernandez going forward, and it may behoove the Reds’ skipper to keep him out of high-leverage situations for the time being.

In short, the Cincinnati Reds’ three-day trip to the Rocky Mountains will show you a statistical anomaly. Don’t put a lot of trust into what you saw this past weekend. Besides, the Reds have bigger fish to fry. The Reds play 10 games in 10 days against division opponents. In fact, 13 of their next 16 games are against teams in the NL Central.

Next: 5 potential trade chips for the Reds

Luis Castillo takes the mound tonight for the Cincinnati Reds when they head to The Windy City to play the first of a three-game set with the Cubbies. This upcoming series will go a long way in determining the fate of this ball club this season.

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