Thursday 4x4: Reds Will Happily Bid CarGo Adieu

The Rockies conclude their season series with the Reds on Thursday afternoon. It is none too soon for the Reds. Not only have the Rockies won four of five from the Reds so far -- taking two of three at Coors Field the last weekend of May and the first two games of the current series -- but they continue to be haunted by Carlos Gonzalez.

 Gonzalez has a career 1.060 OPS against the Reds, the seventh  highest all-time. He is following in the foosteps of Rockies Dante Bichette, whose career OPS against the Reds was 1.121, third all-time, and Larry Walker, who had a career OPS of 1.043 against the Reds.

What's obvious on the list of the Top 10 is the modern game is much more offensive. Barry Bonds, the leader, began his career in 1986, the earliest of any of the top 10.

Cargo Has Company

Player Season OBP SLG OPS
Barry Bonds 1986-2007(21) 0.471 0.713 1.184
Brandon Belt 2011-2018(7) 0.417 0.715 1.132
Dante Bichette 1993-1999(7) 0.413 0.709 1.121
Lance Berkman 2000-2012(13) 0.431 0.656 1.087
Matt Stairs 1992-2010(8) 0.427 0.65 1.077
Albert Pujols 2001-2016(13) 0.426 0.635 1.061
Carlos Gonzalez 2009-2018(10) 0.405 0.655 1.06
Brian McCann 2005-2014(10) 0.399 0.65 1.049
Larry Walker 1990-2005(16) 0.42 0.623 1.043
Vladimir Guerrero 1997-2011(9) 0.425 0.611 1.036

Big day for Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson. Counted on to be the No. 2 starter when the season opened, Anderson has one win in his last five starts, and the Rockies have lost the four other games. He is averaging less than six innings in those games, and has a 6.67 ERA, allowing 42 baserunners in 27 innings -- 32 hits, including six home runs, nine walks and a hit batter.

The Reds rallied for a 6-5 win when Anderson started against them at Coors Field on May 26. He earned a win against the Reds at Great America Ball Park a year ago, allowing two runs in six innings of an eventual 12-6 Rockies victory. Eugenio Suarez was his challenge in that game, singling in the second inning and hitting a home run in the fourth before striking out in the sixth. Suarez was 0-for-3 against Anderson earlier this year at Coors Field, lining out to center fielder Charlie Blackmon his first time up, but striking out and grounding into a double play the next two.

Seeing Red

Date Opponent W L IP H R ER HR BB SO
5/9/2018 LAA L 8-0 0 1 5 6 4 4 2 1 3
5/14/2018 @SD W 6-4 1 0 5.2 7 4 3 0 1 3
5/20/2018 @SF L 9-5 0 0 5.1 6 5 5 1 1 4
5/26/2018 Cin L 6-5 0 0 6 6 3 3 2 3 2
6/1/2018 LAD L 11-8 0 0 5 7 5 5 1 3 4
W L INN H R ER HR BB SO
Totals: ERA 6.67 1 1 27 32 21 20 11 9 16

Wade Davis has short-term memory. It's why he can excel in as a closer.

There was once a theory floated by the analytics world that there was nothing different about pitching in the ninth inning than any other. Bill James even convinced the Red Sox to follow that approach, but after one year the Red Sox went back to a traditional closer. Why? Because it's not facing hitters that is the biggest challenge, it's the pressure of knowing the ninth-inning lead is being handed over and it's up to the closer to get the final outs. There's no net under this tight rope.

Davis had his problems on Sunday against the Dodgers. It wasn't a save situation, but he came on in the ninth of a tie game, and gave up three runs, suffering the loss. Was their a hangover? Doesn't seem like it. He has gotten the call in the first two games against the Reds, and has closed out both, giving him 20 saves, tops in the NL.

The Closing Statement

Player Team G IP Sv SvOP
Wade Davis Col 27 25.1 20 22
Brad Hand SD 28 31.1 18 20
Sean Doolittle Was 26 27.1 15 16
Brad Boxberger Ari 24 22.1 14 16
Jeurys Familia NYM 28 29 14 18
Kenley Jansen LAD 26 27 14 16
Brandon Morrow ChC 24 20.2 14 15
Hunter Strickland SF 29 28 12 14
Bud Norris StL 26 26.1 11 12
Felipe Vazquez Pit 26 24.2 11 15

Can the Rockies pull off a sweep? It's not like the Reds are home bodies. They have the worst home-field record in MLB, winning only nine of 30 games. The Rockies, meanwhile, are 21-13 on the road, the second best winning percentage in the NL. Their 21 road wins are tied with the Nationals, but the Nationals have two fewer road losses.

The Welcome Mat

Gracious Hosts W L Pct Road Warrios W L Pct
Cincinnati Reds 9 21 0.3 Washington Nationals 21 11 0.656
Miami Marlins 10 18 0.357 Colorado Rockies 21 13 0.618
New York Mets 12 19 0.387 Chicago Cubs 18 12 0.6
Colorado Rockies 11 16 0.407 Atlanta Braves 20 14 0.588
Los Angeles Dodgers 14 17 0.452 Milwaukee Brewers 19 14 0.576
San Diego Padres 18 21 0.462 New York Mets 15 13 0.536
Washington Nationals 14 14 0.5 Los Angeles Dodgers 16 14 0.533
Pittsburgh Pirates 18 14 0.563 St. Louis Cardinals 14 13 0.519
St. Louis Cardinals 18 14 0.563 Arizona Diamondbacks 13 16 0.448
Atlanta Braves 16 12 0.571 Pittsburgh Pirates 13 16 0.448
Chicago Cubs 16 12 0.571 San Diego Padres 11 14 0.44
Arizona Diamondbacks 19 13 0.594 Philadelphia Phillies 13 18 0.419
Milwaukee Brewers 18 11 0.621 Cincinnati Reds 12 20 0.375
San Francisco Giants 19 11 0.633 San Francisco Giants 12 20 0.375
Philadelphia Phillies 19 9 0.679 Miami Marlins 12 21 0.364