Oy vey, Christian Friedrich. If you could stop throwing wild pitches, the world would be a legitimately better place.
So this game started out well. The Rockies looked very good in the 1st inning, with Dexter Fowler replacement Eric Young Jr. crushing a triple to right and then scoring on a Marco Scutaro single. Of course, the next three batters were retired in order, but it’s always a positive when you get on the board first, especially when you’re the visitors. And Friedrich does very well in pitchers’ parks, so that little lead ought to have been enough to go on.
But then he allowed a lead-off double to Alexi Amarista. And then he walked Logan Forsythe, practically throwing ball four into the stands. Amarista advanced to 3rd. And scored on a sacrifice fly. Friedrich retired the next two batters, so that run doesn’t score without the wild pitch.
The Rockies made up the run in the top of the 2nd when Josh Rutledge singled and DJ LeMahieu doubled him home. That’s okay Christian, we’ve got your back, you can throw a wild pitch here and there and we’ll cover for you. No problem.
But then, with 2 outs in the 4th, Friedrich walked Everth Cabrera and threw another wild pitch. That put Cabrera in scoring position just in time for John Baker‘s single to become an RBI single. The next batter made the third out in the inning, which means that without the wild pitch Cabrera would have been stranded on 2nd or 3rd. That’s two runs scored thanks to wild pitches. When the difference in the game is one run, you feel the weight of that.
The real shame is that this was a very good outing for Friedrich aside from those bad pitches. He only allowed 5 hits over 5 innings and the Friars stranded 4 baserunners in that time. He was fairly efficient, and threw all his pitches for strikes. When he wasn’t shy about using his offspeed pitches, he was able to fool more than one guy with them. All in all, I would take this, except that the constant wild pitch throwing is inexcusable. This time you can’t even blame the backstop; Jordan Pacheco doesn’t have any trouble blocking balls in the dirt. Send this guy to a shooting range and make him throw a baseball at the center of a target until he hits it 100 times in a row. This cannot continue to be a problem.
Adam Ottavino took over for Friedrich and pitched a solid 6th before allowing the lead-off man to reach base in the 7th. He was replaced by Matt Reynolds, who couldn’t stop that runner from scoring. He got the next out and then Mike Ekstrom and Rex Brothers were able to finish things off, but the offense was done too, and that run turned out to be the winning one.
How annoying is it that Huston Street always saves the game when the Padres play the Rockies? It’s almost like he’s got something to prove.
The Rockies head to Arizona tomorrow for a 3-game series with the Diamondbacks at Chase Field.