Chatwood struggles with fastball command

Chatwood struggles with fastball command

DENVER -- Tyler Chatwood has been the rock of the Rockies' rotation this season, but things didn't go according to plan during a 7-2 loss to the Reds on Wednesday night at Coors Field.

Chatwood lasted only 5 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

"He wasn't real crisp," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Location was a little off, especially with the fastball. He got in a lot of tough counts. He wasn't as sharp as we've seen him lately."

Four of the runs came in the first two frames, when Chatwood threw 47 of his 100 pitches. Chatwood wasn't hit particularly hard, but he ran into trouble when he walked a pair of batters in the second inning and got into too many deep counts.

Weiss on loss to the Reds

"You just got to keep making pitches," said Chatwood. "I guess that some balls found some holes in some big situations for their guys. They got some runs off that, but I think I just kept trying to pound the strike zone and stay out there as long as I could."

Chatwood was able to get back in a rhythm by the third inning, only needing 37 pitches to get into the sixth inning, while facing one batter over the minimum. But during a long sixth inning, Weiss pulled him after he reached 101 pitches with "a heightened sense of awareness" for his workload coming off Tommy John surgery.

Coming into the game, Chatwood had quality starts in five of his past six outings. This was his first start since April 23 that he did not complete six innings, and his 11 baserunners allowed -- eight hits and three walks -- was one short of a season high.

Although this outing wasn't his finest with an elevated pitch count, Chatwood was encouraged by how he performed considering the lack of hard-hit balls.

"I didn't think my stuff was that bad," Chatwood said, "but some balls found some holes. I was able to keep us in the game for a little bit there."

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.