Barrage Ball

That crisp 150 minute Saturday night contest was SO yesterday.  Sunday’s see-saw affair went 202.  The San Diego Padres were up 3-0 when the Colorado Rockies erupted for 7 in the bottom of the third.  San Diego came right-back with 3 in the fourth and retook the lead with 2 in the sixth and one in the seventh.  Then Rockies 3rd-baseman Chris Nelson delivered a 3-run homer in Colorado’s half of the seventh, and it held-up thanks to a Padres-aided insurance run in the eighth.  The Rockies took the weekend series at Coors Field with an offense-packed 11-10 victory.

Jeff Francis started for Colorado and San Diego made it clear from the start they were not going to buy what he was selling.  Logan Forsythe had a ground-single with one out in the first and Chase Headley followed with a line-shot down the left-field line and into the outfield service entrance for a 2-0 lead. In the third Forsythe and Headley collaborated again.  The shortstop reached when Francis grazed him on a 2-2 count and stole 2nd in time for Headley to dump a soft liner in front of Carlos Gonzalez to make it 3-0.

Padres’ starter Casey Kelly held the Rockies without a hit in the first and second but walked Jonny Herrera leading-off the third.  Francis sacrificed Herrera to second and he scored when Dexter Fowler followed with a soft single to center.  Josh Rutledge forced Fowler at second with a double-play grounder, but Forsythe pulled Jesus Guzman off 1st with his relay and things began to fall apart for San Diego.  Gonzalez bounced a double over the center-field wall which precluded Rutledge from scoring, but Jordan Pacheco ripped a grounder down the left-field line that plated the two runners and tied the game.  Tyler Colvin followed Pacheco with a large 2-run homer to right, Nelson reached when 2nd-baseman Alexi Amarista lost the handle on his grounder, and Ramon Hernandez made the Padres pay with a big fly into the center-field seats.  Once Francis stranded Herrera, who had doubled, Colorado, which sent 11 men to bat in the inning, had a 7-4 lead.

Defense immediately failed the Rockies.  Nelson threw-late on a cleanly fielded grounder from center-fielder Cameron Maybin, then Gonzalez allowed extra bases to him and Amarista when he booted the single Amarista had driven down the line.  Francis was able to strike-out Kelly, but lead-off hitter Chris Denorfia singled to drive-in Maybin.  Francis struck-out Forsythe as well, but that brought Headley to the plate to deliver the 4th and 5th of his 6 RBI on the day.  Francis was gone after 3 2/3.

Adam Ottavino held the Padres at-bay through the fifth, but Amarista, who went 5 for 5, doubled to open the sixth.  Ottavino got Kelly on a popped-up bunt and Denofia on a fly to Fowler, but then it was Forsythe and Headley yet a third time, this one featuring back-to-back run-scoring singles to retake the lead 8-7.

San Diego added a run off Ottavino in the seventh and brought left-hander Tommy Layne on to deal with Colorado lefty-batters Gonzalez and Colvin, scheduled to hit first and third in the bottom of the seventh.  The strategy back-fired.  Layne hit Gonzalez, the right-handed hitter Pacheco singled to center, and Colvin sacrificed the two to 2nd and 3rd.  Padres’ manager Bud Black replaced Layne with right-hander Brad Brach and Nelson launched his third pitch over the center-field wall to put the Rockies up 10-9.  After Matt Belisle dispatched San Diego with a perfect eighth Charlie Blackmon hit for him and walked leading-off the bottom of the inning.  Brach yanked a pick-off attempt up the 1st base wall, Blackmon advancing all the way to third, and Fowler drove him home with a single for a 2-run Rockies lead.

Closer Rafael Betancourt took the hill for Colorado in the ninth and retired Yasmani Grandal and pinch-hitter Will Venable, but Maybin singled and moved to second on defensive indifference with El Deliberado preferring to stay in the wind-up.  Amarista knocked him-in with his fifth single, then veteran Mark Kotsay moved Amarista to 2nd with a pinch single to bring Rockies nemesis Denorfia to bat.  Betancourt sucked it up and retired the right-fielder on a grounder to short.  The gift run in the eighth held-up.

The Padres head to Los Angeles to make trouble for the Dodgers before heading home for a weekend series against Arizona.  Colorado heads in the other direction, to Atlanta for an 11:10 MDT start against red-hot right-hander Kris Medlen, just 22 hours after Sunday afternoon’s start.  Tyler Chatwood gets the call for the Rockies.

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Doc
Doc
8 years ago

Defensive indifference needs to go the way of run-on-contact. A little common wouldn’t hurt.

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Doc

couldn’t agree more…One thing we can all agree with George F about, one of few 😉

Miketober
Miketober
8 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

I disagree. Goodman and Frasier were having a fit that the Rox let that first runner move up in the 9th inning with the 2-run lead. The next SD batter singled, and F&G were outraged that SD got a run. But the run probably would have scored on the 3rd single anyway, and even if it did not, the tying run would have still been on 2B. So the defensive indifference had absolutely zero effect on the outcome of the… Read more »

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago

That’s a lot of assumptions my friend 🙂 But, assumptions work both ways and you can also assume that with two outs if they did keep the runner close the batter might have approached it differently, the pitch might have changed somehow with the thought of a runner at first, who knows…having a force at two bags is twice as good as having a force at one bag – especially with two outs. We don’t know what would have happened,… Read more »

ProgMatinee
ProgMatinee
8 years ago

Hmm. To me, the force at second with 2 outs is of almost no importance at all, unless you have a speedmerchant at bat and a slowpoke at 1st. If you can execute a force out at second base, I think 99% of the time you can throw to 1st and get the out too. Less than 2 outs, different story. For me, the indifference play depends on the pitcher. If there is a nails pitcher like Betancourt, I really… Read more »

Miketober
Miketober
8 years ago

If anything, I think it matters on the batter, not the pitcher. After Maybin’s single the next batter was Alexi Amarista who bats left. Do you really want the Rockie first baseman to hold the runner on first and open up a hole on the right side? Jared, I’m still trying to figure out your comment. What assumptions did I make? With a 2 run lead, once that runner reaches base he is irrelevant, unless you can force him or… Read more »

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Miketober

Hey mike, the assumptions i felt you were making was that the same hitting sequence would happen if the runner didn’t advance with the indifference…the whole “butterfly wings” thing – that with that one change in the game (runner taking second) it would alter the course of everything…so saying that if he was held on it wouldn’t matter with the singles that came after it is assuming the singles would have happened…i was saying that anything could have happened since… Read more »

Miketober
Miketober
8 years ago
Reply to  jaredean

Thanks Jared. I didn’t mean to be argumentative. The butterfly wings theory is interesting, but I’ll stand by my assumption that Betty was ignoring the runner and would have pitched Amarista the same way. But after Amarista’s hit, with runners on 1st and 2nd, who knows what would have happened? Maybe the next batter gets anxious and pops out, or maybe he homers. All’s well that ends well. As a kid watching baseball I don’t ever recall seeing defensive indifference.… Read more »

jaredean
Admin
jaredean
8 years ago
Reply to  Miketober

I didn’t feel you were being argumentative at all – just having a fun debate… I just like the idea of keeping runners on the bags instead of at home 🙂 I honestly feel that having them at first gives you a better chance of an out then at second, for whatever reason…if not then you’d see it early in the game when you only needed one more out and felt you could get better coverage if you pulled back… Read more »

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