Both the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies enter Monday’s contest with some desperation.
One team can’t find a win, the other can’t avoid the rain.
Looking to snap the league’s longest active losing streak, the Reds welcome the Rockies to Great American Ball Park, where inclement weather could again be a problem.
Cincinnati (18-25) fell 5-2 in Cleveland on Sunday for its eighth straight loss to match the franchise’s longest skid since 2009. The Reds haven’t endured a longer slide since dropping 11 straight in 1998.
They are hitting .207 over their last five games with a .531 OPS, and including a 9-8 loss to San Francisco on May 17, have averaged 2.4 runs per game during the skid while allowing 6.8.
Sunday’s loss proved especially ugly, as Cincinnati committed a season-high three errors and Raisel Iglesias, filling in for the injured Johnny Cueto, lasted only three innings.
"We saved our very worst when we needed our best," manager Bryan Price told MLB’s official website. "It was the worst game of the series, the worst game of the road trip, the worst game of the season. We needed a good game and we didn’t show up today.
"I apologize for anybody that drove up from Cincinnati to come out and watch us play because this was brutal. … We’re all brutal right now."
Colorado (17-25) has enjoyed a relative upswing following an 11-game losing streak, winning six of 12.
A more demanding challenge than winning for the Rockies, however, has been simply taking the field.
This month, Colorado has had seven home games delayed by rain and three postponed. The Rockies fought through delays in both games of a double-header Saturday, and endured a two-hour, 10 minute wait Sunday before beating the Giants 11-2.
Should they be able to play through the possibility of thunderstorms Monday, the Rockies will turn to Eddie Butler (2-5, 4.38 ERA). The 24-year-old has a 6.00 ERA in losing each of his last four starts.
The right-hander has struggled to limit baserunners since making his major league debut last season and possesses a 1.89 WHIP in 53 career innings – the highest among the 198 pitchers with at least 10 starts since 2014.
"I used to just throw inside," Butler said. "’Here you go. Here’s my fastball. Let’s see if you can hit it.’ That was college, high school, first couple years of pro ball. … These guys can hit a 95 mph fastball inside; I understand you can’t just live doing that."
Jason Marquis (3-4, 6.91) takes the mound for Cincinnati hoping for improvement from several dreadful outings. The 36-year-old has allowed 15 runs and five homers over his last 12 1-3 innings, going 0-3 in that span.
Marquis has the league’s worst ERA among pitchers with at least 40 innings, and Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez are a combined 7 for 22 with four extra-base hits against the right-hander.
Tulowitzki has excelled at Great American Ball Park, hitting .395 with nine home runs and a 1.237 OPS in 22 career games. He is 9 for 20 with five homers in his last five contests in Cincinnati.
Nolan Arenado went 4 for 5 with four RBIs Sunday and finished a double shy of the cycle.