They say you never know what you’re going to see when you go to the ballpark. Friday was a perfect example of this sentiment.
InBaltimore, a fan ran on the field (not that abnormal but not exactly a daily occurrence) during the 7th inning stretch. The shirtless daredevil ran through the outfield and towards third base, rounded third and slid safely into home. No security was even close. (How do you have enough time to slide head first and get back up and continue running?) So the home plate umpire took matters into his own hands and form tackled the fan.
An umpire tackling a fan is like Halley’s Comet – comes around once every 75 years. The bizarre night of baseball continued…
I set up shop to watch the Mets open up a 3-game series with theRockiesat Coors Field. New Yorkhad just swept the Marlins on the heels of some great pitching and timely hitting so I was looking forward to watching them go for 4 in-a-row. I wasn’t expecting what would follow – which was one of the most unpredictable games I have ever seen.
It started in the 1st inning and I should have known right then that this would be a game unlike any other I had seen before. With runners on 1st and 3rd and 2 out, Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz threw over to 1st and caught David Wright taking off to steal 2nd. Wright was picked off but managed to get into a rundown and stayed in that rundown long enough for Nieuwenhuis to score from 3rd before Wright was tagged out. Mets had a 1-0 lead.
The Rockies answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st off Mets starter Chris Schwinden. Schwinden was starting in place of Mike Pelfrey who is scheduled for Tommy John surgery and is done for the season. Rockieslead 2-1 after an inning and all was normal.
Scott Hairston homered in the 4th to tie the game at 2. Then the 5th inning happened. The Mets got 4 in the top of the 5th with 5 straight 2-out hits including an RBI triple from Scott Hairston. I was extremely pleased and thinking to myself – I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the Mets get 5 straight 2-out hits. Even Gary Cohen said “When it rains, it pours.” Little did he know how prophetic that statement really was.
At the midway point in the game, I thought we were sitting pretty and in the clear to pick up our 4th win in a row. Then in vintage Coors Field fashion,Coloradoexploded for an 11-run 5th inning. Carlos Gonzalez was 2-for-2 with a HR and 5 RBI in the inning. (Impressive but a far cry from the feat accomplished by Fernando Tatis when he hit 2 grand slams in one inning). If when it rains, it pours, this was a never-ending deluge. Hit after hit after hit after hit and the on top ofColorado’s hot bats, the Mets committed 4 errors in the inning. One of those errors was the result of another very strange play. On one of their many hits in that inning, the third base coach waved home a baserunner who had no business trying to score. The Mets had already had the ball to the cut off man (Zach Lutz at 1st) and the runner even knew he was a dead duck so he stopped 3/4 of the way down the third base line. Lutz tried to throw it home and set up a rundown to get that runner out but he made an errant throw (from about halfway down the first base line to home) and the ball got away from Nickeas and the runner scored. So, even when the runner knew the third base coach had made a mistake sending him and he had no chance of scoring, he ends up scoring. Obviously the Rockies won the game (18-9 final score) and an 11-run inning, 4-error inning, 5 straight 2-out hits, run scored during a rundown, run scored that should never scored and a 5 RBI inning for one player should have filled the uniqueness quota for this game.
But that was just the beginning. Earlier in the game a Scott Hairston was hit by a batted ball and therefore ruled out. This isn’t that uncommon but usually when a batted ball hits a baserunner, it is smoked and he has no time to react. Scott Hairston basically ran into a slow ground ball after he took off on a hit and run. Later, there was a catchers interference ruling when a Rockiesplayer swung at a pitch out. Let me repeat that – swung at a pitch out. The Mets were purposely throwing a ball to try and get a better chance to throw out a base stealer and the batter (who presumably was trying to execute a hit and run) swung at the ‘intentional’ ball and hit the catcher’s glove. Therefore, the batter was awarded 1st base and the base stealer was awarded 2nd. A stupid play (swinging at a pitch out) resulted in a reward – just like it did when theRockies sent the runner from third when they shouldn’t have and he ended up scoring. Definitely have never seen that before.
And oh yeah, speaking of Scott Hairston… he hit for the cycle in the game as well. He was the tenth Met to hit for the cycle and 1st since Jose Reyes in ’06. Not only did he hit for the cycle, but he did it in 4 consecutive at bats all before the 6th inning. He was even taken out of the game later on, so he didn’t even get to finish a game in which he hit for the cycle. Just a bizarre night in Colorado all around and I could not have predicted a single thing that happened. Even though the Mets lost and watching that 5th inning (15 runs scored combined) was pretty brutal, it was one of the more enjoyable games that I’ve seen in a while.
Isn’t baseball the best?