The Rockies and Padres observed a moment of silence before the game Friday evening at PetCo Park. The players linked arms in recognition of those killed, wounded and touched by the violence in Aurora. They stayed locked arm-in-arm during the moment of silence, as well as the National Anthem. It was a very sad and touching display, as was the black uniform hanging in the dugout that read, “We Remember 7-20”.
The game after the silence was perhaps the seasons worst called game, if not the worst called in years, and the Rockies ended up on the wrong end of multiple calls, as well as the final score.
While umpiring has taken a beating lately, thanks to the proliferation of replay with multiple-angles, it isn’t entirely fair to place every close-call’s errant outcome at the feet of the mortals in blues. But, when a single game contains not one or two bad calls, but six or seven (all against the Rockies), then you feel a sense of injustice in the end result.
And it wasn’t like the calls were confined to a single location or umpire. Each spot on the horn had its own atrocity of umpiring.
- Two clear outs, according to naked eye as well as reply, at 2nd with tags applied by Josh Rutledge, well before the runners reached the bag, were deemed safe.
- Two plays at third, one an out called safe with Jordan Pacheco’s glove clearly on the runner as his hand came off the bag, and the other with a Rockies runner called out when the tag happened clearly after he was at third. Another possible missed call at third as well, but no reply was shown to prove one way or the other.
- A play at first that was a clear out, and Umpire “Balkin'” Bob Davis even began his “out” motion, at the last second changing it to safe. The runner would eventually score (after being called safe at second when he was clearly out there as well).
- A play at home with Cuddy batting and getting hit by a pitch. He was initially given first, but the call was reversed and it was ruled that he swung at the pitch.
Any number of the blown calls could have swung the score drastically in the Rockies favor, either by ending a Padres run, or extending a Rockies run, and frustration was felt all night.
Except for a brief moment in the third inning.
For some reason the last few weeks the Rockies have found themselves in the favorable position of a bases loaded situation. Sometimes they will load up the bases multiple times in one game, like tonight. As luck and the season so far would have it, more base-runners end up going towards the dugout to collect their gloves than those that return to collect high-fives.
But not tonight.
Third inning, Pomeranz is really struggling, and the Rockies are without Wilin Rosario after he injured himself in the second on a bad pitch that he couldn’t corral. He twisted his ankle and came out of the game, stating after that he is sore and likely won’t catch Saturday.
So, in the top of the third Josh Rutledge leads off with a double to center and, after a Drew Pomeranz bunt, he is thrown out at third. Fowler singles and Scutaro reaches on an error, loading up the bases.
Then comes Lil’ Pony.
CarGo has only one other grand slam in his career, and the odds seemed to be stacked against him Friday Night, with Jason Marquis’ stuff really moving around. But, the baseball Gods were smiling on CarGo, and he crushed 90 MPH sinker to left-center, giving him his second grand slam of the year, putting the Rockies up 4-3.
Sadly, it was not only short-lived, but the last time they led all night.
Pomeranz started the bottom of the third giving up a single, single, triple and home run before getting his first out, and just like that it was 7-4. Pomeranz was on his way to the showers after getting the last two outs in the third. His final line in the loss: 3 IP, 9 hits, 7 ER, 3 K, 2 HR’s.