It must be devastating to be a Padres fan, because it is unimaginable that the Rockies can play such horrible baseball, night after night, and not be in last place.
Tonight the team found a whole new way to lose, and it had almost nothing to do with their starting pitching.
The Rockies lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in epic fashion as Rafael Betancourt not only blew the save, but loaded the bases in a 6-6, two out ninth inning. Placido Polanco took a 2-2 pitch up the middle and both Scutaro and LeMahieu made for the ball, leaving only one play: a throw to Helton at first.
The only problem is Helton wasn’t expecting the throw, thinking LeMahieu was going to second for the short toss to get out of the inning.
It’s pretty bad feeling when you are trying to find the bag and the ball is coming…It’s a bad situation. I should have made the play. It should have been an out. It’s my fault…It was the worse-case scenario…We have to come out and play hard again. That’s all we can do.
Even the casual Rockies fan knows Helton is one of the best first basemen that has ever played the game, and that he isn’t prone to lapses’ of concentration. But, he clearly left umpire Alfonso Marquez no choice as the high throw from Scutaro, one he wasn’t ready for, made him flounder with his foot, searching for the bag. Had he just caught the ball and trotted off like he was touching the bag all along, then he might have deked Marquez. Alas, he didn’t, instead trying to turn and step on it again after Polanco was a good five feet past. That was all it took to get the safe signal and a trip to the loser’s dugout.
It would be easy to blame Scutaro for the error because of his seemingly lazy, high throw after realizing he didn’t have a play at second with LeMahieu MIA. Or, maybe he needed to wait for LeMahieu to get out of the way, messing up his timing. He already had one error, ironically on a ball hit by Polanco to him that he couldn’t handle.
But the error was given, rightfully, to Helton. Helton should never have been in the situation in the first place, had the bases not been loaded, but as fans have become accustomed to seeing night after night: no lead is safe, inside or outside Coors, when the Rockies are playing.
BAD STAT OF THE NIGHT
The Phillies are 0-28 in games that they are trailing after eight innings, and 1-9 when tied after eight innings coming into tonight’s game.
Perhaps all the Padres need to do to get out of last place is play the Rockies, we seem to make those that struggle look like all-stars.
Never have the Rockies needed Tulo’s glove and arm more than tonight. Sadly, Tulo will be going into surgery Thursday as the Rockies try not to get swept for the third time in the last four series. His injury isn’t being classified as a hernia, but as Tracy explains it,
There’s some scar tissue that is built up over a nerve…We’re very hopeful they’re going to successfully relieve that and get us beyond these problems and situations we’ve been dealing with over the course of the last year or so.
While there is no official time-table for his return, he could be out close to eight weeks.
Tulo’s mixed emotions range from frustrated to relieved. Relief in knowing, finally, what is wrong and how to fix it.