In its first season of existence, the Questec system of judging baseball’s umpires has been widely criticized. It has finally drawn the ire of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Brewers look to temper their emotions as they continue a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Miller Park.
Milwaukee lost for the fourth time in five games Friday, suffering an 8-6 setback in the series opener when reliever Leo Estrella walked Jay Payton and Juan Uribe with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
Both Estrella and Brewers manager Ned Yost were ejected after letting umpire Mark Carlson know exactly how they felt about his strike zone.
“Anytime you have 400-something pitches,” Yost said, “something’s not right.”
Brewers catcher Eddie Perez suggested that Questec was to blame, claiming umpires are changing the strike zone to match that of the machine, which is being used at 13 major league ballparks this year.
“I don’t want to say what I want to say,” Perez said. “It’s not his fault. It’s the freaking computer. It’s somebody else’s fault. They know they have to be careful.
“Every time we go to a place that doesn’t have the computer, we know there’ll be strike calls. I know I’ll be fined, but at least I didn’t go out and hit it with a bat.”
Perez was referring to Arizona’s Curt Schilling, who was fined last month for destroying a Questec camera during a home loss to San Diego on May 24.
The Rockies didn’t have any problem with Carlson’s calls.
“I think our batters just had some good eyes, took some close pitches,” said Greg Norton, who hit a pinch homer in the eighth. “We got the calls and a couple of hits. We were patient and came back and got a good victory.”
STANDINGS (through July 3): Rockies - 4th place, 8 1/2 GB, NL West. Brewers - 6th place, 10 GB, NL Central.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Darren Oliver (5-5, 4.84 ERA). Oliver is 2-0 with a 3.46 ERA over his last three starts. The veteran left-hander didn’t receive a decision in Colorado’s 8-7 loss to Arizona on Monday, allowing three runs and seven hits over six innings. Oliver is 3-4 with a 3.33 ERA over 11 career appearances, including nine starts, against Milwaukee.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Matt Ford (0-0, 2.23 ERA). Ford was moved into the rotation Sunday to make his first career start. The 22-year-old left-hander lasted just three innings in Milwaukee’s 5-4 loss to Minnesota, allowing one run and four hits over three innings. He did not receive a decision. Ford will be making his first career appearance against Colorado.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rockies - Todd Helton, .334 avg. and 74 runs; Wilson, 19 HRs, 74 RBIs and 6 SBs. Brewers - Scott Podsednik, .327 avg.; Richie Sexson, 23 HRs and 55 runs; Geoff Jenkins, 61 RBIs; Eric Young, 19 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Rockies, 1-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - OF Larry Walker is just two hits shy of tying Dante Bichette’s club record of 1,278. … 3B Chris Stynes left Saturday’s game in the second inning with a bruised left triceps. Listed as day-to-day, Stynes was replaced by INF Mark Bellhorn, who got three hits. … Colorado extended its major league record to 334 consecutive games without being shut out at home. Brewers - OF Podsednik went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to nine games. Podsednik is hitting .344 (66-for-192) with two homers and 20 RBIs since moving into the starting lineup May 13. … Five of Milwaukee’s last eight games have been decided by two runs or fewer with the Brewers going 2-3 in those contests. … 2B Young extended his hitting streak to 13 games Friday. He is hitting .351 (20-for-57) during the stretch.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 14-28 on the road; Brewers - 15-28 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - 3B Stynes (triceps), day-to-day; RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (hamstring), 60-day DL. Brewers - RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ruben Quevedo (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL.