Saturday, August 27, 2011

Umps Notice Rockies Playing Well, Decide to Put a Stop to It

Rockies 1, Dodgers 6

Wow, the wheels sure came off of this one fast. So disappointing, too, because what a great start by Esmil Rogers. After collecting every win he's gotten since his return in July by the skin of his teeth, and earning every inch of that 6.00 ERA, he finally had a very, very good outing. And it was ruined by both an anemic offense and shameful umpire crew.

Rogers pitched 6 stellar innings, allowing just 5 hits and ZERO walks, which was a huge improvement for him. His command was terrific and he struck out 7. He gave us a glimpse of the guy we saw at the beginning of the season, the pitcher we knew he could be. Of course, his offense was giving him next to nothing to work with; aside from a solo home run by Carlos Gonzalez in the 1st, the Rockies' bats were completely silent. Another run would have scored in the 3rd if Eric Young Jr. hadn't been called out on batter interference running to 1st on a ground ball. Watching it again, he did appear to be just out of the baseline, but these umpires did such a crap job with this game I still think that call was their fault.

Then the 7th inning happened. Esmil showed signs of tiring before everything truly fell apart, walking the first two batters he faced. A single loaded the bases, still with no out. Then Jamey Carroll flied out to center and Dexter Fowler's throw to the plate was nearly perfect. He was helped by a suddenly athletic Eliezer Alfonzo, who made a great tag to get Andre Ethier. It actually seemed like Rogers was going to get out of it and maybe even preserve his win. He intentionally walked Tony Gwynn Jr. to load the bases again, and then third-base umpire Bob Davidson called a balk. This was an even worse call than when Cory Blaser called Corey Hart safe at home on July 16th. All Rogers did was turn his head to check Aaron Miles at 3rd, and Miles made a move toward home, so who can blame him for that. It was just a complete boneheaded call. I've never heard Jack Corrigan get so upset. He basically ordered Davidson to retire.

Of course Jim Tracy argued, and of course his argument was rejected. And of course, Rogers wasn't going to recover after that. He's an emotional player and one of his downfalls is how he lets the game get away from him when things start to unravel. So naturally he allowed a 2-run single and had to exit the game. He looked incredibly upset, and he had every right to feel that way.

Matt Reynolds replaced Rogers with Justin Sellers on 1st. Sellers broke for 2nd and Reynolds picked him off. Well, so we all thought. Then home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt CALLED A BALK. Are you kidding me? Rogers was going nuts in the dugout and so was Tracy. Wendelstedt held out his hand to tell Tracy to stay there, but he didn't listen and was tossed. Well, good for him. That was some terrible umpiring, and they needed to know that.

Reynolds isn't as emotional as Rogers, but he wasn't going to recover from that either. He gave up back-to-back home runs to James Loney and Matt Kemp, and that was way more than the Dodgers needed. So basically, after Rogers loaded the bases and then got a double play, 6 runs scored with 2 outs, because of 2 balks. Hey umpires. Thanks so much for ruining our winning streak. We didn't like it that much anyway.

Good to see Matt Lindstrom come off the disabled list and get a 1-2-3 8th. The infield also turned a couple of double plays. Certainly this could have been worse. It could also have been a whole lot better.

And guess what? I am in a hurricane. Track my adventures here.


  1. Yes, the umps did bad things to the Rockies. . .and they did bad things to themselves: keeping EY in the lineup instead of Smith; not hitting the ^$(&!! ball and giving our great pitcher some cushion; no one cautioning said great young pitcher about the fool at third base and how to deal with the foreseeable situation (the runner expected/created the situation); other usual Tracy decisions. We also got lucky on some of our sloppy plays early on. While losing a game this way truly hurts, we just won one on a wild pitch. I hope this makes our guys just more determined to play a devastating game tonight.

  2. The offense is certainly to blame. I didn't emphasize that as much as I might have because I wanted to focus on the reasons why Rogers lost focus. Definitely the team should have given him a much bigger cushion to work with, and the lineup was, as always, a joke. Same old, same old.