DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies lost another tough, close game -- this time to the Philadelpia Phillies -- by a score of 4-3 and for the second consecutive game had a player ejected after a call in a pivotal moment went against him.
This time, the departed (from the field ... things aren't yet that bad for the Rockies) was catcher Nick Hundley who was displeased with a check-swing call from first-base umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
Hundley admitted later that he did swing but holds steadfast that the ejection was uncalled for.
"Looking back on the video, looked like I did go. Looks like he got the call right," Hundley conceded, "I reacted when he said that I went, not in the best way. I could have handled my emotions a little bit better there. But there was no way -- for what I said there -- I should have been thrown out."
Manager Walt Weiss was asked about the questionable umpiring of late and the fact that he's had two players ejected in two days:
"Yeah, y'know, guys are frustrated and gotten emotional at some tough points in the game. That happened again tonight but you have to keep your composure and fight through it."
But when pressed to give an evaluation of the umpire's actual performance, his "no comment" spoke volumes.
However, unlike in Sunday's game against the Dodgers, the Rockies had plenty of other opportunities throughout the game that they didn't convert, often striking out instead. The 11 team Ks on the night made the Rockies only the 11th team in the last 100 years to have six straight games of double-digit strikeouts.
That it came on a night where they also left a small village of 19 men on base -- which included a late-inning rally that just fell short and still saw closer Jonathan Papelbon strike out the side -- make the torture almost worthy of House Bolton.
"We just need to tighten up our approach with two strikes and not miss your pitch when you are getting it early in the count," says Wiess, "[Strikeouts have] been an issue here lately." And understatements are apparently in vogue.
Jordan Lyles pitched mostly well but was undone by a combination of poor execution and bad luck in the top of the sixth.
The game was tied at one and after getting two quick outs, Lyles got up in the count 0-2 on Maikel Franco but failed to put him away, giving up a ground-ball single. The follow-up walk to Chase Utley was the real key says Lyles.
"That walk. That shouldn't happen."
Odubel Herrera -- most famous from the sentence "I think I've heard of Odubel Herrera" -- then smashed a two-RBI double off the right field wall and would score on a broken bat bloop single from Carlos Ruiz. The Phillies had taken a three-run lead in about five seconds all they while Lyles was seemingly a strike away from escaping unscathed.
"I made the pitch I wanted to to Herrera. He put a good swing on it but I shouldn't have walked Utley, that's the main thing."
The broken bat single and a run scored in the first partially as result of a bizarre play in which Wilin Rosario failed to touch first base, were the tough luck on the day for Lyles, but the inability to close the door on Franco and the ensuing walk to Utley ended up being the nail in the coffin in this one.
Well, that and the offense won't stop swinging and missing.
"We just aren't stepping up. It's been tough, it was a tough game. Cole Hamels was really good today, gotta give credit where credit is due, but we didn't play well enough," says Nolan Arenado. "I don't like speaking for other guys but right now I'm not doing my job to help the team win, and overall as a team we just need to be better."