The Colorado Rockies went into the week knowing their in a must-win series against the Philadelphia Phillies. Colorado has seen its fair share of struggles early on this season. However, in Monday night’s 2-1 extra-inning loss, it wasn’t the Rockies offense that went cold but they were in desperate need of a win. In dire need of speed on the basepaths, manager Bud Black did the unthinkable to find an answer to win the ball game.

“We had no other option to run for Elias Díaz which we felt like we had to do to win the game. We had no position players at that point to come in,” said Black.

The Rockies Used Kyle Freeland as a Pinch-Runner

After a wild pitch, Kyle Freeland advanced to third. With Jeff Hoffman intentionally walking Nolan Jones, the Rockies now had runners at the corners. Hoffman then threw another wild pitch. Colorado not only risked the opportunity to gain the lead but risked their Opening Day starter as Freeland headed for home plate. The Rockies pinch-running pitcher collided with Phillies catcher J. T. Realmuto and was called out. Freeland appeared to have injured his non-throwing shoulder as he was coming home. As Freeland slid home, Hoffman caught the ball and put the tag on while landing on top of Freeland, who was using his right shoulder to brace himself.

Colorado’s decision to use the starting pitcher as a pinch-runner was spontaneous yet risky. That’s a serious problem if a team is using a pitcher, nonetheless, their number one starter to come on as a pinch-runner.

Rockies Management Reserved After Foolish Call

Colorado had an opportunity to take a huge win plus gain confidence and momentum with a huge road win. However, an unintelligent, yet risky call at the plate ruined any chance of a win. The Rockies did challenge the play, but it was determined there was no obstruction. Black explained the call from the umpires after the game.

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“The home plate umpire saw it as a convergence of two players coming in and both trying to make a play,” said Black. “Kyle trying to get to home plate, and Hoffman trying to get the ball from Realmuto. The convergence and the speed of play was such where no blocking of the plate was called.”

Black did explain that using Freeland was due to his speed, which is why he put him in the game in that situation. He also said that he should be “fine.” The ugliness of that move is nothing more than the club needing to change their ways. Nothing they’re doing offensively or on the mound is working whatsoever. They have to play smarter, and management needs to make better decisions.

Main Photo: © Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

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