Colorado Rockies Hit Season Low Point in Losses to Reds
It was June 2 at 8:08 p.m. local time. Mark the date and the time. It was arguably the lowest of the lowest points of the 2016 season thus far for the Colorado Rockies.
On Thursday night in an 11-4 drubbing at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds (the 19-35 Cincinnati Reds, by the way), Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon hit a bouncer over the head of reliever Chad Qualls. Rockies rookie shortstop Trevor Story fielded the ball … and dropped it. Simon, not exactly the most swift afoot, lumbered to first while Rockies fans groaned … and yet another Cincinnati run scored.
It wasn’t so much that Story had bobbled the ball. It was, though, that the Rockies had bobbled the whole entire game … no, series … against a team that was ripe for a sweep.
Cincinnati entered Coors Field with losses in 12 of its last 13 games and 17 of its last 20. What was the Reds’ winning percentage in LoDo since 2002? .319, the lowest of any National League park. It was time for the 23-26 Rockies to put down the hammer on a lesser team and maybe, just maybe, get above .500 for the season.
But in a turn of events that is worthy of the #ThatsSoRockies hashtag, Cincinnati looked like the 1976 Reds rather than their current-day counterparts. Pitchers like Simon and John Lamb, household names of course, completely short-circuited the Rockies offense while Eddie Butler, Tyler Chatwood, and Chad Bettis reverted back to the not-so-good versions of themselves. Joey Votto remembered he could hit a baseball and Zack Cozart and Eugenio Suarez provided head-scratching power (sure, sure, insert the Coors Field jokes here).
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Cozart was the poster child for the Reds’ success in Denver. He started each of the first three games off with a hit, including a homer on the very first pitch of the series. We should’ve known then that something wasn’t going to be right.
Cozart’s initial blast was a sign of things to come. The Reds smacked 12 homers in a series for the first time since they hit 15 homers in a three-game series at Phillies in September 1999. It was also the first time the Rockies had allowed 12 round-trippers in a series since 2002. That’s not the kind of history you want to be repeating.
Take away the 17-4 historic beatdown the Rockies handed out on Tuesday night and there was little that went right for Colorado in a series that should’ve seen most things go the Rockies way. Colorado had a strong edge in hitting and pitching over the Reds coming into the series. Neither ever materialized.
Now 10-15 at home this season, the Rockies return to the road (where they’re 14-14 this year) and need to gather themselves quickly. The season that had so much promise and possibilities just a few days ago seems to be unraveling quickly.
The “June swoon” that has historically troubled the Rockies has already been well documented. However, Walt Weiss has insisted time and time again this season that this Colorado team was different than those from the past.
“We’ve been very resilient,” Weiss said. “I don’t concern myself too much with it. Of course, you want to make them aware of it when it doesn’t look right but these guys respond very well.”
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If that’s the case, the Colorado Rockies will right the ship in southern California against the Padres and Dodgers. If not, the summer of discontent will kick into high gear on social media and at Coors Field.