Colorado lost 4-3 in a typical Petco game when San Diego scored two in the bottom of the ninth off Rex Brothers to walk off the game. Todd Helton had homered to dead center in the top of the ninth to give the Rockies a short-lived 3-2 lead.
The Rockies struck early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning when William, DJLM, and Tulo started the game with double, single, and another double. Will Venable hit a line drive solo homer in the bottom of the first to make the score 2-1. Juan Nicasio showed that he has come of age when the next batter, Chris Denorfia, hit a triple with no outs and was left on base when the inning ended.
The score remained that way until the sixth inning when San Diego scored an unearned run to tie the game at 2-2. After Denorfia drew a walk, he ran all the way home from first base on a swinging bunt. No, this is not a typo. Both Tulo and DJLM charged at the ball (and got the out at first) leaving third base unoccupied where Helton threw the ball away.
Then the Rockies lost the battle of closers in the ninth inning. Brothers was clearly showing the effects of being overworked trying to close out the game for the fourth straight game. With the bases loaded and one out, Jose Guzman chopped a grounder down the line to drive in the game-ending run. Third base umpire C.B Buckner called it fair while Nolan Arenado and Walt Weiss both thought it was a foul ball.
This fair/foul ground ball judgment needs to be reviewed when the rules committee meets in the winter. I’m not bringing this up because I thought it was a bad call but because I think this rule is ridiculous. (Even if that was a foul ball, Rockies would still presumptively lose on a sac fly.) The rule says if the baseball crosses over any part of the base it is a fair ball regardless if the ball bounced foul beyond the base. This is where I have a problem. If a batter hits a hooking line drive foul, it is foul even if it left the infield over the third baseman’s head. Ground ball also goes foul but it’s fair? And hooked fly balls are fouls? That’s a contradiction in my mind.
Plus the laws of physics tell me ground balls will always be foul based on the fact that the home to base is only ninety feet and the bat strikes the ball right at the home plate. The ground ball has to be perfectly parallel to the line to stay fair. I also don’t like the fact the umpires are about ten feet behind the bag when making a judgment. The only “perfect” position is ten feet up in the air above the bag. My personal recommendation is to make it easy on everyone: If the ground ball hits the foul territory on the first bounce beyond the base, that’s foul. Just like a hooking fly ball or line drive that goes foul.