Colorado Rockies rookie pitcher Eddie Butler got the length he needed on Monday, if not the exact results. After pitching only 5.2 innings in his last two starts combined, Butler gave the Rockies six innings and walked just two batters.
For the bad news: he gave up nine hits and four runs, including a home run to Marlon Byrd -- seriously? Marlon Byrd? -- and one could argue it could have been worse if not for a few occasions in which Butler was bailed out by spectacular Rockies defense:
.@TheBarnyard15 ... INTO THE STANDS to make the play! http://t.co/sfi7BJKxXk pic.twitter.com/jKraOk8pD8— #VoteRox (@Rockies) May 25, 2015
Able to take away hits in a single bound. http://t.co/ApXrs5IVDE #RoxReplay pic.twitter.com/FiH6dIcavT— #VoteRox (@Rockies) May 25, 2015
Butler worked a little too much over the center of the plate, likely compensating for previous outings of wildness, and as the ultimate result, he gave his team a legitimate chance to win the game.
It helped that the Rockies gave Butler an early lead. Charlie Blackmon led off the top of the first innings with a walk, proving once again how valuable those things can be. He stole second -- his first of three steals on the day -- and came around to score on a single from Nolan Arenado.
The Reds took the lead right back in the bottom of the inning when Joey Votto doubled on a pitch that was well located and Todd Frazier -- who is not the Toddfather -- homered on a pitch that was not well located. It was Frazier's 13th of the year, so at least Butler is not alone.
The game of leapfrog continued immediately in the top of the second. The Rockies retook the lead when DJ LeMahieu delivered a two out, two-run single.
Arenado padded the Rockies advantage with a solo home run in the fourth giving him seven hits in his last eight at-bats (to that point) including two home runs, a double, and a triple. Later he did this:
May 25, 2015
The Reds got both runs back via Byrd who scored after doubling in the fourth, and then tied the game on the aforementioned home run in the sixth.
The game stayed a stalemate until Blackmon scored in the top of the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Arenado after walking yet again and moving to third on a bloop single from LeMahieu. All of this off of feared Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.
John Axford worked a clean inning around a "walk" to Todd Frazier. He secured his seventh save (none blown) on the season. He has given up one run in 2015.
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