DENVER -- The start of Saturday’s Reds-Rockies game at Coors Field was delayed by thunderstorms for three-plus hours. That meant some very late-night baseball for fans in the eastern time zone.
Those who stuck around to watch might not have needed caffeine to stay awake, because there was an absurd amount of action that culminated in a 17-9 Reds victory.
“It feels amazing, especially when you come out and get the ‘W.’ I’m just happy we came out and I played well and we won,” Ervin said.
How wild was this game?
• The Reds hit five triples -- in the first six innings -- the first time that happened for the franchise since June 5, 1929, vs. the Phillies. It was also the most triples ever allowed by the Rockies. According to Elias Sports, the Reds became the first Major League team in the modern era to ever collect five triples and at least three home runs in one game.
• Two Reds -- Nick Senzel and Ervin -- each had career-highs in hits and both finished a home run shy of the first cycle for the club since Eric Davis on June 2, 1989.
• Ervin’s six hits equaled a team record done four times, but not since Walker Cooper vs. the Cubs on July 6, 1949.
• Senzel, who had four hits, had two of Cincinnati’s triples in his first three at-bats. Add in four hits for Yasiel Puig and José Peraza and it was only the second time in franchise history that four players had at least four hits in a game. It was also done vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers on June 8, 1940, according to baseball-reference.com.
• Cincinnati collected 24 hits, the most for the club since it set a record with 28 hits on May 19, 1999, also at Colorado.
• With 12 extra-base hits, it was the most for the Reds since they had 13 on Aug. 26, 2001, at Montreal.
• The Rockies jumped out to leads of 4-0 in the first inning, 5-4 through the third and 7-5 after six. The Reds got their first lead in the sixth inning on Derek Dietrich’s three-run homer to the opposite way in left field. They scored five runs in both the sixth and seventh innings and batted around each time.
“That’s what it takes,” Reds manager David Bell said of the comeback. “It’s easy when things are going well. But when you can bounce back in situations like this -- whether it’s a rain delay or getting down early -- they continue to compete and play the game the right way. It’s important.”
• Reds starting pitcher Tanner Roark allowed a season-high seven earned runs, a career-high 13 hits and a career-high tying three homers over 4 2/3 innings -- and did not figure in the decision. Colorado had 15 hits overall.
• The winning pitcher was reliever Jared Hughes, who threw one pitch in the fifth inning after Roark was lifted. Hughes got Chris Iannetta to fly out to the left-field warning track.
Besides a marathon rain delay, the actual game took three hours and 53 minutes to complete.
“I think you have to stay focused,” Senzel said. “When we were in a delay, I knew we were going to play, so the mindset is we’re going to play. I have to stay focused every at-bat and keep taking good at-bats and score some runs. It’s like Cincinnati, runs are never enough here at this park.”
The offensive oddities aside, this was an important game for the Reds. They snapped a three-game losing streak during which they scored only four runs. The team, ranked 14th in the National League in hitting, had been especially slumping for a couple of weeks and came in with 36 runs scored over the previous 12 games.
Cincinnati remained 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Cubs in the NL Central standings.
There was no way to sense big things were ahead for Ervin, as he notched his first hit in the second inning against Kyle Freeland. It was a light blooper that sailed over the infielders between first base and second base and landed on the dirt. The exit velocity, according to Statcast, was 46.2 mph with an expected batting average of .130.
“It all started with the broken-bat cheapie,” Ervin said. “It’s how crazy baseball can work. You can come up and get blown up the first AB. I made my adjustments and put everything else on the barrel hard.”
Ervin hit a triple to left field in the third inning, a double in the fourth inning (107.7 mph exit velocity) and a single in the sixth. He had a shot for the cycle in his final two at-bats, and both were singles.
“People mentioned it,” Ervin said of the cycle. “I tried to lift a couple of balls, especially when there was a guy on third for a [sacrifice fly]. I was like, ‘Just get something in the air.’ That’s the best chance to try. I tried. Once I got to two strikes, I was trying to put something in play, make sure I get the run in. Other than that, it did cross my mind a little bit.”
It’s been a season of perseverance for Ervin, who has shuttled back and forth to Triple-A Louisville four times in 2019 alone. In 28 big league games overall, he’s batting .357/.410/.571 with one homer and nine RBIs.
“He’s had a hell of a journey,” Senzel said. “He’s making the most out of his opportunity. I don’t think it could happen to a better guy. Such a great dude. He can really play. He gets under-looked. I enjoy seeing him have success, especially like tonight.”