Kyle Freeland was like a human home run derby and the Rockies offense wasn’t able to make much noise in another tough road loss as they fell to the Reds on Friday.
Freeland’s rough day
Kyle Freeland had possibly the toughest start of his career against the Reds, allowing nine runs (eight earned) on five home runs in four-plus innings of work. Cincinnati jumped on “KFree” from the start, taking him deep in all five innings. (Freeland was removed without recording an out in the fifth.) Freeland has tried to find consistency since his return from the injured list, and unfortunately Friday was not his day. It will be interesting to see what adjustments he continues to make as he attempts to return to his ace form from 2018.
Mahle looks like Maddux
OK, that may be a stretch, but he really was basically unhittable for most of the game. Raimel Tapia led the game off with a base hit, and that would be the only baserunner Mahle allowed until a dropped third strike on a K of Yonathan Daza with two outs in the fifth inning. That’s a streak of 12 straight batters retired.
It wasn’t until the sixth that the Rockies were finally able to break through, scoring four runs. Overall, Mahle tossed six innings and allowed four earned runs against six strikeouts and one walk.
Young stars keep shining
If there’s a positive to take from this start, it’s the continued development of the Rockies’ future stars. Ryan McMahon’s three-run home run was the highlight of their offensive output in the sixth inning, and Brendan Rodgers added a blast of his own in the eighth. Connor Joe also recorded a base hit and a run scored.
(Of note, Brendan Rodgers has really taken off since our own Kenneth Weber wrote his Rockpile article about his slow start. Coincidence? You tell us.)
Losses like these can be frustrating, but as Ryan McMahon continues his All-Star bid and Brendan Rodgers figures out his swing at the Major League level, these at-bats are crucial to their continued development and hopeful maturation into upper-tier MLB talent.
Right back to work tomorrow as the Rockies send Germán Márquez (4-5, 3.91 ERA) to battle Wade Miley (5-4, 2.96 ERA). Márquez started the season roughly, but has really turned a corner in his last few starts. He’ll try to keep the momentum going and translate that into a win on Saturday.
First pitch is at 2:10pm MDT.