After beating the Pirates in two out of three games, the Cincinnati Reds (17-17) head to Coors Field in Denver for a four game series with the 13-24 Colorado Rockies.
First pitch is at 8:40 ET. The game can be found on Bally Sports Ohio for the TV viewers or 700 WLW for the radio listeners.
The Rockies come into the series in last place in the National League West, already 9.5 games out of first place. They’re 8th in the NL in team OPS and last in the NL in pitching with a 5.09 team ERA. This could be a Coors Field problem, but it probably has more to do with the fact that they don’t have a very good rotation.
|Chi Chi Gonzalez||28.2||5.97||7.09||4.57||4.85||1.57||11.9%||7.0%|
Luis Castillo tries to rebound from another underwhelming start against Cleveland on Saturday in which he surrendered four earned runs on five hits in just four innings while walking two and striking out only two.
Doug Gray wrote a good article on Castillo a few days ago digging deeper into why he is struggling. Players are hitting less ground balls against him this season. In 2020, his GB% rate was 58.4%. Thus far in 2021, it’s only at 51.4%. While this can be one factor for Castillo’s struggles, the bigger factor is probably that opposing players are swinging and missing fewer times against him. His Whiff% for his four-seam fastball currently sits at 17.1 percent. Last year, it was at 37.2 percent.
Velocity is not his problem. Castillo’s still throwing high 90’s on his fastball and high-80’s for his breaking pitches. Location, however, is key. He’s missing up in the zone. He said it himself in his post game interview on Saturday: his pitches are too high in the zone and he needs to work on finding the lower part of the strike zone.
In his most recent start, right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez got tattooed by the St. Louis Cardinals. They tagged him for seven runs on eight hits in four innings, at that wasn’t at Coors Field. It was at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Gonzalez’s average velocity is about 91.8 mph for the fastball and mid-80s for the slider and the change up. He’s not a power pitcher, by any stretch. He throws six pitches, but only two with any regularity: the four-seam fastball and the slider. He also adds in the change up about 10.7 percent of the time, but almost always to left-handed batters. His cutter is used only about 9.0 percent of the time, but it has the highest Whiff% at 31.6%.
|CF Nick Senzel||LF Raimel Tapia|
|LF Jesse Winker||1B Connor Joe|
|RF Nick Castellanos||RF Charlie Blackmon|
|1B Mike Moustakas||2B Ryan McMahon|
|3B Eugenio Suárez||3B Josh Fuentes|
|C Tucker Barnhart||C Dom Nunez|
|SS Kyle Farmer||CF Yonathan Daza|
|2B Jonathan India||SS Alan Trejo|
|P Luis Castillo||P Chi Chi Gonzalez|
News and Notes
There is some good news and some not-so-good news on injured Reds today. Michael Lorenzen is going to start throwing after an MRI came back showing he was good to go. Aristides Aquino also got some positive news in his rehab process. Joey Votto has not resumed any baseball activities yet.