Colorado Rockies morning after: Emotions boil in final frame meltdown
By Kevin Henry
Nobody with a press credential asked Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black about the elephant in the room on Saturday night after his Rockies had dropped a heartbreaking 5-4 decision to the Chicago White Sox at Coors Field. Nobody needed to. The frustration was still very evident in his tone and mannerisms.
Black and Charlie Blackmon were ejected in the bottom of the ninth inning, capping a foul final frame on so many levels. Nobody asked what was said that got the duo kicked out. Nobody needed to.
Battling from behind all night, the Rockies finally tied the game in the eighth inning. A towering triple from Mark Reynolds. A sacrifice fly from Gerardo Parra to score him and knot the game. Greg Holland coming in to pitch the ninth. It was setting up to be another magical night at Coors Field, reminiscent of earlier in the season when the Rockies were rolling along.
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Only the White Sox flipped the script … and then the Rockies flipped out. Tim Anderson blasted a 1-2 pitch from Holland into the nature scene beyond the center field wall. Suddenly, the South Siders had the momentum and the energy that had been so present in the stadium just moments before was suddenly gone.
As disappointing as the top of the ninth was for the Rockies, the bottom of the frame was as equally frustrating. With one out in the inning, a questionable strike call on a full count eliminated Blackmon … and Chuck Nazty was having no part of it. He gave home plate umpire Sam Holbrook an earful before being tossed, then Blackmon did some tossing of his own, slamming his helmet and bat into the turf before disappearing into the dugout.
Black wasn’t far behind, letting Holbrook know his thoughts before he was tossed as well. Boos rained down as frustration set in.
Carlos Gonzalez came on to pinch hit as Colorado’s final hope. Holbrook called the first pitch thrown to him as a strike even though it was nowhere near the zone. Two pitches later, CarGo had struck out and the game was over.
The Rockies went out with a roar on Saturday night. Unfortunately, it wasn’t with their bats.
White Sox pitchers racked up 15 strikeouts on Saturday. Blackmon’s final punchout gave him three on the night, just like Trevor Story. DJ LeMahieu was the only starter to not have a strikeout on an evening where Colorado’s offense seemed to have its chances, but simply couldn’t connect when needed.
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Now Colorado will look to a Sunday matinee to earn a series win heading into the All-Star break. It will be a short night for Holland, Blackmon and the Rockies to put Saturday’s frustration out of their minds.