Scutaro, Rockies can't dodge misfortune
Baserunning snafu the latest source of frustration during slide
SAN DIEGO -- Rockies second baseman Marco Scutaro found himself trying to fathom physics Tuesday night, before falling into a tried and true explanation for what went wrong in the 3-1 loss to the Padres at Petco Park."That's how it is, man, when things aren't going your way," Scutaro said. "That's how baseball is." In the oddest play of the game, Scutaro was on first base, with a runner at third, with one out in the top of the ninth. He took off for second when teammate Jordan Pacheco made contact on a check-swing against Padres closer Dale Thayer, but somehow the ball ticked off his left heel, which made him automatically out. The Rockies would have had a run, and Scutaro likely would have gone first to third, representing the tying run. Instead, the Rockies were left with runners still at first and third, but now with two outs and still trailing by two. Carlos Gonzalez then struck out to end the game.
How the ball ended up hitting Scutaro left him perplexed."I felt I was already past the ball," Scutaro said. "What I'm thinking is, when it hit the grass, it kind of skid and gained velocity. It was kind of wet. That's what I think happened. I'm pretty sure. I was running and I couldn't jump. "It's unbelievable." It was an unlucky night for the Rockies, who lost their fifth straight. It was an especially unfortunate finish for Scutaro, who was involved in two other plays that had a bearing on the final score. With one out in the bottom of the eighth, the Padres' Orlando Hudson tripled. But Rockies right fielder Michael Cuddyer made a quick cutoff throw that would have given Scutaro plenty of time to relay to the plate and beat Yonder Alonso, who was trying to score from first.
However, Scutaro rushed, and felt the ball mysteriously tail away from him and tick off his glove. No error was charged, but an opportunity was missed.In the top of the ninth with one on, Scutaro drove a pitch into the left-field corner that looked like a tying home run, until the ball curved just foul. Scutaro's unlucky night illustrated how this current stretch of five losses is going for the Rockies.
The first two losses, to the Braves, came when the Rockies scored 22 runs, but got poor starting pitching. In losing the first two of a three-game set with the Padres, the Rockies have scored three runs. On Tuesday, right-hander Alex White pitched 6 1/3 strong innings -- the first decent start in a while."It's frustrating what's happening right now," Scutaro said. "When we hit, we don't pitch. When we pitch, we don't hit." "We just turn the page. Whatever happens tonight has already happened."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.