|Colorado Rockies (28-17)||6||11||1|
|Cincinnati Reds (20-23)||4||8||1|
|W: Kyle Freeland (5-2) L: Bronson Arroyo (3-4) SV: Greg Holland (19)|
|FanGraphs Win Probability | Box Score | Game Thread | Statcast|
The Reds jumped on the board first. Billy Hamilton reached base on a rare error by Nolan Arenado, stole second and third base, and scored on a groundout by Joey Votto. The Reds could’ve had a bigger inning, but Jose Peraza was picked off second base with one out.
From there, Kyle Freeland breezed through the next four innings as the Rockies took a 6-1 lead. The Reds’ offense showed life again in the sixth inning. Peraza almost led the inning off with a home run but had to settle for a triple when the ball bounced off the top of the wall. Votto cleared the wall one batter later for his 12th dinger of the season. The home run, the 233rd of his career, tied him for seventh in Reds history with Jay Bruce.
Three batters later, Scott Schebler decided he wasn’t going to let Votto lead the team in home runs for more than a couple of minutes, so he smashed his 12th long ball of the season to make it a 6-4 game. If you blinked, you might have missed it land in the netting above the visitor’s bullpen; the ball left the bat at 110.8 mph, his hardest-hit home run of the season. It was his second home run in as many days against a left-hander, too, which is encouraging.
The last three innings gave the Reds a chance to tie it, but they couldn’t come through.
Devin Mesoraco started the seventh with a double off the center field wall. He never moved.
Singles from Votto and Eugenio Suarez put runners on first and second with one out in the eighth. They were both stranded.
Mesoraco again tried to get a rally started with a leadoff walk against Greg Holland in the ninth. Once again, he didn’t move.
Bronson Arroyo was knocked around again, giving up all six Rockies runs on nine hits and two walks. Regardless, Bryan Price stuck with him through 5.1 innings due to his worn-down bullpen. Arroyo gave up four more home runs and has now allowed 15 in 46.1 innings. Only Mike Fiers and Jered Weaver have allowed more this season. One of those home runs came from Freeland, the opposing pitcher, who Arroyo did not retire a single time in three plate appearances. Arroyo’s ERA now stands at 6.75 and his xFIP is 5.51. You really have to wonder how much longer the Reds will stick with him.
***Update: Arroyo is making his next start at the very least.
Bryan Price pushed back on the question of evaluating Bronson Arroyo's future in the rotation . Said he's making his start. #Reds
— Joe Danneman (@FOX19Joe) May 21, 2017
Robert Stephenson came on in relief. He gave up a two-out double to DJ LeMahieu — who went 4-for-5 on the day — but escaped the jam with a big strikeout of Arenado. He allowed a two-out walk in the following inning, but nothing came of it as he struck out Pat Valaika to end the inning.
Following back-to-back rough outings, Blake Wood bounced back with two scoreless innings this afternoon, allowing only one hit and striking out one.
– Peraza walked today. That’s always noteworthy. He now has five walks in 171 plate appearances (2.9 BB%).
– Since giving up four earned runs in back-to-back outings on April 25 and May 2, Stephenson has been much, much better. Over his last 9.2 innings, he’s given up only two runs, four hits, and three walks while striking out eight. The Reds may not be ready to put him in the starting rotation yet, but he’s showing progress.
– Mesoraco is looking like his old self at the plate. He picked up two more hits and drew a walk today and is now batting .317/.429/.512 with a 150 wRC+. It’s probably time to move him up in the lineup.
– I’m a proponent of batting Votto second, and that might have paid off today. Peraza, batting in that spot today with Zack Cozart out of the lineup, twice had an opportunity to come up with a big hit with two outs. He grounded out to end the seventh and struck out to end the game, leaving Votto standing in the on-deck circle.
The Ohio Cup begins tomorrow, with the Cleveland Indians (23-19) visiting Great American Ball Park for two games before the series shifts to Progressive Field on Wednesday and Thursday. Scott Feldman (4.29 ERA, 4.33 xFIP) will look to rebound from an ugly start his last time out. His counterpart will be Josh Tomlin (6.86 ERA, 3.34 xFIP), who has walked only four batters all season long. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.
Growing up just north of Cincinnati, Matt has been a Reds fan for as long as he can remember. As a kid, he was often found leading the Reds to 162-0 seasons in MVP Baseball 2005 and imitating his favorite players (Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, and Austin Kearns) in the backyard. One of his earliest baseball memories is attending the final night game at Cinergy Field. Matt is also a graduate of The Ohio State University and currently lives in the Dayton area. Follow him on Twitter at @_MattWilkes.