09/16/08 12:45 AM ET
Reynolds can't hold Padres down
Tulowitzki hits grand slam, but it's not enough for comeback
By Jeff Birnbaum / MLB.com
Reynolds, the second pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, lasted just two-plus innings after giving up seven runs on nine hits. It was his first big league start since July 4, when he gave up the same number of runs in 1 1/3 innings against the Marlins.
After that start, the 6-foot-7 right-hander was immediately optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he worked on his fastball command and tightened up his delivery. Neither looked improved Monday night. Reynolds, 23, surrendered four singles, three doubles, a triple and a three-run homer before being replaced by Hirsh five batters into the third.
"I try to stay away from expectations," manager Clint Hurdle said. "You get an opportunity to pitch and show us what you can do. It's a large gap from Triple-A to Major League Baseball. If they want to get here, they've got to find ways to be consistent, pitch with an edge and get outs."
As a starter, Reynolds (2-7) is used to pitching every fifth day, but he had pitched just one inning since Colorado Springs' season ended Sept. 1.
"I thought I had really good stuff today," he said. "It was just a matter of executing pitches, and I didn't do it very well. There comes a time when there's no more excuses. It's just a matter of getting it done, and I didn't."
Juxtapose Reynolds with Padres pitcher Wade LeBlanc, who was selected in the second round of the same Draft. The lefty worked around a Troy Tulowitzki grand slam to earn his first Major League win. He gave up four runs on seven hits in six innings.
Hirsh wasn't as fortunate. He gave up a two-run home run to Matt Antonelli in the third and an RBI double to Chase Headley in the fourth. He was taken out in the fifth after yielding a single and a walk.
Rust also may have had something to do with Hirsh's performance. The 26-year-old hadn't pitched since Sept. 3, when he tossed a perfect ninth inning against the Giants. In between outings, Hirsh worked with pitching coach Bob Apodaca to fine-tune his mechanics.
"We've been trying to open my stride up a little bit," Hirsh said. "I throw in the bullpen, and it's a great. Then you throw a batter in there, and I go back to my old ways."
This was just the second big league appearance for Hirsh this season. He strained his shoulder in Spring Training and spent most of the season rebuilding his arm strength in Colorado Springs.
"I hadn't thrown to competition for a while, so [the shoulder] was a little rusty," he said. "But physically it felt fine. No pain, no soreness, no stiffness. It felt good."
Tulowitzki, who had the game-winning single Sunday, hit his second-career grand slam to put the Rockies on the board in the fourth. Chris Iannetta added a solo home run in the eighth.
"It's obviously nice anytime you hit a grand slam," Tulowitzki said. "But at the same time, to lose like that is definitely frustrating. You want to hit a grand slam on a night that you win. When you lose it doesn't do too much."
Jeff Birnbaum is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.