If you know a Colorado Rockies fan, give them a hug today. They're going to need one.
In one of the more unfortunate and just plain painful sequences you'll see on a baseball diamond, the Rockies allowed three Milwaukee Brewers baserunners to score on one pitch during their 9-4 loss on Saturday afternoon. Not one pitch that was struck well and landed over the fence or bounced to the outfield wall, mind you. But one pitch that bounced off the catcher's glove and never even left the vicinity of home plate.
The pitch was ruled a wild pitch on Christian Friedrich, although a passed ball on catcher Michael McKenry may have been just as proper. Either way, THREE runs scored, which means there's plenty of blame to go around here.
Here's how it played out.
Milwaukee had the bases loaded with one out and pitcher Wily Peralta at the plate. Friedrich fired a 91 MPH fastball a little bit high that McKenry couldn't handle. The ball ricocheted off the backstop and started rolling up the first base line where McKenry ran it down. It all happened so fast that McKenry actually had a chance to collect the ball and make an attempt on Aramis Ramirez, who was coming in from third. However, his throw was beyond the reach of Friedrich, who was forced chase it down by the Brewers dugout.
In the meantime, Mark Reynolds came all the way around from second to score the second run. Jean Segura moved up from first to third, and as he danced off the base, he discovered that the Rockies were paying no attention to him. He broke down the line, and by the time Friedrich could react, it was too late. Segura scored and the Brewers had three runs without putting the ball in play.
Only one error was charged on the play. That went to McKenry. Segura's run was ruled fielder's indifference, which is the nice way of the saying the defense embarrassed itself.
That's the long description of the play. A much quicker description would simply read "complete and total abomination."
That can't happen in the big leagues. It can't happen in the minors. It shouldn't happen in college. And if it happens in high school, someone gets benched.
If there's some consolation though, perhaps it's that it wasn't a first in MLB history.
The Oakland A's were on the wrong end that time. Pitcher Mike Magnante was charged with the wild pitch and catcher Ramon Hernandez charged with an error..
Great company for all involved.
Amazingly, the Rockies actually showed signs of life just one week ago, sweeping the San Francisco Giants at AT&T for the first time since 2008. It was the first sign of hope in nearly a month. A month that featured injuries to Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer and Jordan Lyles.
The momentum was short-lived, however. The Rockies moved on to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers and were swept out of town in three games, including Clayton Kershaw's near perfect no-hitter on Wednesday. A return home on Friday found the offense much healthier. They shredded Milwaukee pitching for 10 runs on 16 hits, but it wasn't enough, as they fell 13-10.
What happened on Saturday though is a play that can define a season for all of the wrong reasons. It's up to the Rockies to turn that around and redefine what their season is. and it will be interesting to see if they have enough firepower and confidence to get it done.
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