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Reds get pounded in series opener with Rockies after rare rough start from Luis Castillo

The offense didn’t do much, either, but that’s not all that rare.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Joe Nuxhall Memorial Honorary Star of the Game

On a night where the Reds didn’t do much of all to write home about, Robert Stephenson’s ability to mop up three full innings (after a rare Luis Castillo rough start) was pretty impressive.

The Reds came in to this one probably thinking they were in the driver’s seat with their ace on the mound, but he could only manage five innings while giving up six runs. Enter Robert Stephenson, who immediately walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, and you immediately began to think it was going to be one of those nights. He settled in nicely from then on out, making it look pretty easy. His final line: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, and 3 K, and a saved bullpen.

Honorable mention to Josh VanMeter who hit another dinger today as part of a three hit night, Tucker Barnhart hit twice in his first game back from the IL, while Yasiel Puig and Jesse Winker both doubled.

Key Plays

  • Luis Castillo got into a bit of trouble early on in this one. He allowed a lead-off single to Charlie Blackmon before walking Nolan Arendado with one out. Daniel Murphy, who killed the Reds in Colorado a few weekends ago, killed a Castillo offering all the way into the seats. Castillo would allow another base hit, but would otherwise get out of the inning. Rox up, 3-0.
  • The Reds chipped back immediately in the bottom of the first. Jesse Winker led off the frame with a double, then moved to third on a balk by German Marquez. Joey Votto grounded sharply to second for the first out, but Winker scored. The Reds get one back, 3-1.
  • In the bottom of the second, Josh VanMeter mashed a dong to lead things off. Reds get back within one, 3-2.
  • Castillo got roughed up further in the top of the 4th, as everything the Rockies hit seemed to find a way to fall in. With one out, Tony Wolters hit a soft grounder to Eugenio Suarez for an infield hit. Marquez bunted him to second before Blackmon floated a double just on the left field foul line to score Wolter. David Dahl then snuck his own in just fair, though this one left the yard for a two run dinger. Arenado’s grounder found a gap by a diving Iglesias, but thankfully Murphy grounded out. Rockies double their score, lead 6-2.
  • Jared Hughes opened up the 9th and gave up three consecutive hits, the last of which came from Blackmon and scored Wolters. David Dahl grounded out, but the Reds could only manage one instead of two on the ground ball. Arenado walked on four pitches, before, who else? Daniel Murphy cleared the bases with a grounder to the corner in right field. Ryan McMahon then singled to score Murphy. Raimel Tapia doubled, scoring McMahon. Mercifully, Garrett Hampson struck out followed by a Wolters deep fly out to end the frame. Rockies, 12-2.
  • Did the Reds come back? Reader, they did not. 12-2, Rockies (F/9)

Tony Graphanino

Source: FanGraphs

Other Notes

  • Luis Castillo certainly did not have his best stuff tonight, but he also didn’t get any help from the Baseball Gods, as Rockies batter after Rockies batter seemed to find holes and gaps. His final line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
  • The Reds swapped some catchers today, as Tucker Barnhart made his return from the IL, but it required Juan Graterol to be placed on the IL for the spot, a 7-day trip.
  • So, with Nelson Cruz’s three home run game last night, it was the first time in MLB history that three different batters had hit three home runs in a game in three consecutive days. As I type this, after four full innings in Boston, Mookie Betts has three home runs. The balls, they are juiced, folks.
  • The Reds and Rockies will kick off game two of this three game set tomorrow night, back in their regular night spot at 7:10 PM EDT. Anthony DeSclafani will go for the Redlegs, while the versatile and always dangerous TBD goes for the Rockies.
  • Tunes.