Friday, August 09, 2002

Rockies 10, Reds 3

Rocky Mountain storm chills Reds; Boone needles team following uninspired effort

By John Fay,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Todd Walker throws to homeplate to tag out Brent Butler during the third inning at Coors Field.
(AP photo)
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        DENVER — Reds manager Bob Boone has been fairly effusive in his praise of his players' attitude, character and willingness to battle to the last out this year. So what he said Thursday after the Reds lost 10-3 to the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field is telling.

        “I don't know if we came to play,” Boone said.

        Shortstop Barry Larkin had a different perspective.

        “We ran into some good pitching,” Larkin said. “The Rockies are a professional team. They can beat you up if you don't play well.”

        Either way, the Reds saw the series as an opportunity lost.

        “I thought we faced some good pitching,” Aaron Boone said. “That said, this stinkin' division (the NL Central) is so winnable if you put together a little run. But we came in here and got beat up.”

        The Reds, swept in three games, return home in third place in the Central, three games behind St.Louis, after the Cardinals' 5-3 victory over Montreal. The second-place Houston Astros lost to Florida Thursday.

        The Reds came to Colorado riding the high of Sunday's 15-10 comeback victory over the San Diego Padres.

        So getting swept and being outscored 34-11 was an off-the-charts disappointment.

        The Reds, Bob Boone said, got caught up trying to play home run derby in Coors.

Mike Hampton is tagged out at home plate by Reds catcher Jason LaRue.
(AP photo)
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        “Everyone was trying to pull the ball,” Boone said. “You almost have to use a two-strike approach here... If you square the ball here, it goes. That's what (the Rockies) did. They hit all line drives. Those line drives turned into doubles and triples.”

        The statistics supported that Thursday. The Rockies had 17 hits, the most allowed by the Reds this season, and no home runs. The Reds had five hits and two home runs.

        The Reds played 27 innings at Coors and had only one rally, scoring five runs in the ninth inning Tuesday. That was the only inning in the series in which the Reds scored more than one run. Solo home runs accounted for five of the Reds' 11 runs in the series.

        Todd Walker, a former Rockie, said Coors played like any other field for the series.

        “For these three games anyway,” Walker said, “it played true. It didn't play like Coors. I hit balls that would have been out last year. I don't know if it's the humidor or what.”

        The ball has been flying considerably less since the Rockies began storing game balls in a humidor.

        All four Reds pitchers gave up at least one run and two hits Thursday. Starter Jimmy Haynes (12-7) went five innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits, to take the loss.

Aaron Boone sits dejected in the dugout after the 10-3 loss.
(AP photo)
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        The Reds were in the game until Colorado broke it open with four runs in the sixth.

        The Reds couldn't do much against Colorado left-hander Mike Hampton, who came in with a 5-13 record and a 6.78 ERA.

        The Reds had their chances. Hampton was close to 100 pitches after three innings.

        “I saw a guy up around 125 pitches who had given up 50 more hits than innings ...” Boone said.

        He didn't finish the sentence. But the ending probably would have been: “And we couldn't hit him.”

        Hampton walked four but allowed only three hits.

        Adam Dunn and Reggie Taylor provided some excitement with late-game solo home runs. But it wasn't nearly enough.

        “We can't afford to let this happen,” Aaron Boone said. “But we're still two games back. We're right in it. We just have to put a run together.”


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Notes from Thursday's games

Kitna relaxed, confident for first start
Bengals, Simmons near common ground
Justin Smith working to improve upon impressive rookie season
Bills' backup tight end battling for roster spot
Bills' revamped O-line faces first test
Browns ban sales of plastic bottles of beer
Jets 16, Steelers 6
Titans beginning to make tough decisions
It's a hazing day of summer for rookie
NFL preseason gets into full swing
Xavier completes women's basketball staff
Masters in demand, ATP chief says
Where are you going? Roddick: Final 8
Hardcourt's best players ready for faceoff
'Mosquito' Ferrero stings Dent in 3 sets
Moya making most of comeback
Schuettler makes fans sit up, pay attention
Tennis Channel to test fans' interest
Delay aside, Switzer happy to enter Hall
Klecko following in father's footsteps
Miami hungers for 2nd No. 1
New Mexico State football player in critical condition
Two-year Purdue starting RB has no lock on spot
Lineup, new format announced for Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
New contract will keep Jurich at U of L through 2016
Back on track, in car and in life
Gordon eyes road course as chance for first win
Prince Andrew to visit U.S. Grand Prix in Indy
Hand surgeon fined, suspended for giving horse Prozac
Third horse dies in Kentucky from West Nile
Tiger 2 strokes back at Buick
Harding sentenced to 10 days in jail
Last chance for UC-OSU tickets
Poll puts St. Xavier on top again

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