Nolan Arenado ejected, bats remain quiet as Colorado once again loses at Miami, 4-3.
MIAMI» Rockies frustration reached a fever pitch Saturday night in a 4-3 loss to Miami at Marlins Park.
All-star third baseman Nolan Arenado was ejected for throwing his bat to the ground in anger after striking out on a checked swing in the seventh inning. First-base umpire Pat Hoberg gave Arenado a quick thumb, and Arenado raced down to first base to plead his case.
No matter. The ejection stood and Arenado got tossed for only the third time in his career. He was replaced by Pat Valaika.
“I was mostly mad at myself, but I can see why he threw me out,” Arenado said. “I said some words I probably shouldn’t have said toward him, so I can see why I got thrown out.
“I was just more upset at my at-bats tonight, especially that last one. I got mad and he threw me out. I’m not surprised. I didn’t mean it toward him, but then I saw the replay and I can definitely see why he threw me out.”
Bench coach Mike Redmond, filling in for manager Bud Black, who was ill Saturday, thought Hoberg made a mistake.
“He told me that he’s been instructed to do that when a guys throws his bat and then looks at him,” Redmon said. “I explained to him, in the calmest voice that I have, that I thought he was wrong. … But the damage had already been done.”
The overriding themes of the evening were the plight of the Rockies’ struggling offense, the jawdropping power of Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton and the Rockies’ mounting road woes. They fell to 30-30 away from home after losing for the 20th time in their last 26 road games.
Colorado went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and is just 3-for-27 with runners in scoring position four games into a five-game road trip. There was one ray of good news. Carlos Gonzalez collected his first RBI on the road since May 24 when he grounded out to second in the eighth, chasing home Mark Reynolds to cut Miami’s lead to 4-3.
Rockies infield prospect Ryan Mcmahon made his big-league debut in the eighth with two outs and runners at first and second, but he flew out to center fielder Christian Yelich.
Asked about his team’s recent performance with runners in scoring position, Arenado said: “Not good. We have to do better, all of us, including myself. I had a chance to drive in runs yesterday and again today. Everyone, from top to bottom, we need to be better.”
Stanton blasted a three-run, speed-of-light homer off starter Jeff Hoffman’s hanging slider in the fourth, giving the Marlins a 4-1 lead. It was Stanton’s eighth homer in nine games and his 20th in his last 32 games. The ball came off his bat at 114 mph and Colorado left fielder Gerardo Parra barely moved as the ball sailed over his head.
“With him as hot as he is, you can’t afford to make a mistake like that,” Hoffman said.
Meanwhile, the National League wild-card playoff race continues to get muddier as September nears. Colorado entered the night as the NL’S top wild-card team, with a one-game edge over Arizona. Streaking St. Louis won its eighth consecutive game and has entered the picture as a challenger for either the NL Central title or a wild-card berth. The Cardinals are just 4K games behind the Rockies.
Hoffman was gone after five so-so innings, having surrendered four runs on seven hits, with three walks and only one strikeout. Redmond praised Hoffman for the way he “battled,” but acknowledged that Hoffman didn’t have his best stuff. Patrick Saunders is the president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America: email@example.com or @psaundersdp
Rockies star Nolan Arenado pleads his case to first-base umpire Pat Hoberg in the seventh inning Saturday night after striking out on a checked swing and being ejected.
Rockies catcher Jonathan Lucroy tags the Marlins’ Tyler Moore at the plate for a fourthinning out Saturday night in Miami.