Rockies' P Kyle Freeland appears to avoid injury after collision at home plate while pinch running

Freeland was pinch running due to the Rockies' being thin on their bench

Colorado Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland is "fine," according to manager Bud Black, after a collision at home plate with Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jeff Hoffman.

Freeland, a Rockies starting pitcher, appeared to injure his right, non-throwing shoulder as he was attempting to score as a pinch runner in the ninth inning during the team's 2-1 loss Monday.

Hoffman's pitch with two outs got by catcher J.T. Realmuto, and Freeland, who had entered the game as a pinch runner, tried to score to put Colorado ahead. As Freeland slid home, Hoffman caught the ball and put the tag on while landing on top of Freeland, who was using his right arm to brace himself. Freeland immediately coiled back, holding his right shoulder in pain.

"I wish baseball was more of a contact sport," said Hoffman, who played four years with Freeland in Colorado. "That was a crazy play for two pitchers to be involved in — just a crazy play. He threw it in a perfect spot for me. I just slapped the tag on him as quick as I could. We both got there at the same time."

The Rockies challenged the play, but the call stood after the umpires determined there was no obstruction.

“The home plate umpire saw it as a convergence of two players coming in and both trying to make a play,” Black said. “Kyle trying to get to home plate, and Hoffman trying to get the ball from Realmuto. The convergence and the speed of the play was such where no blocking of the plate was called.”

Why was a Rockies starting pitcher running the bases in the first place? The team was already down three players, with back stiffness sidelining Kris Bryant and Brendan Rodgers and Jake Cave out sick. Catcher Jacob Stallings was the only non-pitcher on the bench.

According to Black, Freeland's speed is a big reason he was put in the game in that situation.

"We're trying to win the game," Black said. "Kyle is an athlete. He's hit. He's run. He's one of our fastest players."

The Phillies went on to walk it off in the bottom of the 10th on a Cristian Pache RBI single.