Colorado Rockies: Jonathan Lucroy talks HBP and competitiveness
Colorado Rockies catcher Jonathan Lucroy has set a new career-high this season, but it’s not exactly the kind of big stat you want to see on your timeline.
Lucroy was plunked twice in Friday night’s 6-3 loss to the Miami Marlins in south Florida. Those were his third and fourth occasions to be hit by a pitch during his time with the Rockies. Combine those with the four times he was hit this season as a member of the Texas Rangers and Lucroy has now been hit eight times in 2017, well over his career-high of five set in 2013 with the Milwaukee Brewers.
"“I guess they’re pitching me more inside if I’m getting drilled,” Lucroy told Rox Pile in an exclusive interview inside the visiting clubhouse before Saturday’s game in Miami. “I know I have been hit by a couple of offspeed pitches that have back up and I know that’s a mistake. Hitting a guy with a slider or something is pretty hard to do, especially a righty hitting a righty. “As far as heaters, I would imagine some balls are getting away from them. Probably trying to pitch me in. They’re trying to pitch me up and in and the ball is getting away from them and it is getting me. It is what it is but, at the same time, this is the big leagues and you have to be able to control your fastball.”"
That’s where the 31-year-old Lucroy seemed to take issue with 25-year-old Miami starter Jose Urena on Friday night. Urena, who has now hit 13 batters this season, drilled Lucroy with pitches in the fourth and sixth innings. In the fourth, it was a 1-2 pitch. In the sixth, the plunking came on a 3-0 count. They were the only times Urena hit a batter on Friday night and Lucroy showed his frustration after getting hit in the sixth.
As a point of comparison, Kyle Freeland leads the Rockies with eight hit batsmen this season.
"“I was a little mad about that,” Lucroy said on Saturday. “You’re throwing 95, 96, 97 and you’re letting balls get away up and in. This is the big leagues. You have to be in control of yourself and control what you’re doing. It’s part of the game but, at the same time, when you’re getting drilled all of the time, it is frustrating.”"