The Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies played the first Major League Baseball game ever televised live on Facebook on Friday. The game drew more than 1 million views, and one team played as if that many people were watching.
The Rockies routed the Reds 12-6 in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati’s seventh straight loss leaves it at 19-22, three games under. 500 for the first time since it was 10-13 on April 29.
Baseball’s worst starting rotation lived up to its stats. The first four batters in the first inning reached base against Reds starter Lisalverto Bonilla. He gave up two runs in that inning and four more in 5 1/3 innings.
The bullpen didn’t help matters. Wandy Peralta allowed four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning after replacing Bonilla in the sixth. He threw 43 pitches, much more than he’s used to. Reds manager Bryan Price blamed himself for leaving Peralta in the game. He felt he had to do it because the bullpen has been so overworked.
“We don’t have much of a bullpen,” Price said. “It was a big bind. It was one of those days where Wandy didn’t have it. I left him out there to throw (43) pitches, and that’s a disgrace on my part for me to do that, but we have some limitations. He needed to get through that inning. When he went out there, I thought he could get through the sixth and the seventh, and it wasn’t his night today. They were on him. He wasn’t sharp.”
Price would have pitched position player Scooter Gennett late in the game, but the Reds climbed back into it with two runs in the seventh and two in the eighth. He didn’t think he could put a position player in the mound when they still had a chance to win the game.
»NOTES: DeSclafani resumes throwing
The ERA for Reds starters climbed from 5.57 to 5.69. That’s far and away the worst in either league. Cleveland Indians’ starters had a 5.15 ERA through Thursday.
While injured starters Brandon Finnegan, Homer Bailey and Anthony DeSclafani are all taking steps to get back to the rotation, they won’t provide help anytime soon. The Reds’ chances of staying in contention until they do return are fading.
“We didn’t come out pounding our chest saying we’re about to win the World Series,” Price said. “However, all of our expectations in this building were that we are a better team than anyone expected us to be. In order for us to reach our goals, we have to be better out of our starting rotation. We can’t just wait for Finnegan and Bailey and DeSclafani. That isn’t fair to our position players. We have to be better out of the rotation, and I think we have enough talent to do that and take the workload off of the bullpen.”
»PHOTOS: Reds vs. Rockies
Bonilla (0-2, 6.38) made his third start. He failed to build on the success he had in his previous start when he allowed three earned runs in eight innings Saturday in a loss to the Giants.
Bonilla allowed eight hits. He walked three. He made his biggest mistake in the sixth, giving up a three-run home run to Alexi Amarista.
Notes: Eugenio Suarez went 3-for-4 with a single, home run and double. … Billy Hamilton doubled in the seventh to score Scooter Gennett. Hamilton scored on the play when the throw to home got past Rockies catcher Tony Wolters. … Jose Peraza hit a two-run home run in the eighth. It was his first home run of the season. He was the last Reds starter without a home run.
Rockies at Reds, 4:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410