Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rock Solid Recrap: One Catch. One Call.

That's all it takes for LA to take the series in Colorado.

Dodgers 4, Rockies 3

The Catch

It's funny how baseball works sometimes. Chris Iannetta pops a 1-2 pitch a mile in the air in the first inning, Blake DeWitt loses it in the sun, RBI single.

With the bases loaded in the 5th inning, Iannetta hits a ball right on the screws to CF, Matt Kemp lays out to make a fantastic diving catch. If the ball touches down it's a guaranteed two runs, and with a good bounce probably three.

Just that close to being a hero. Just that close to busting the game wide open.  Baseball is cruel like that.

The Call

Home plate umpire Dan Iassogna is really awful. That name has stuck with me for a reason, and sure enough, I checked my archives over at Bugs & Cranks and found that Iassogna had a game like this last September in Colorado.

I described him that day the same way I'll describe him today.

He's a horrible umpire that is consistent at one thing... being inconsistent.

It's not that he just screwed the Rockies with that horrendous strike three on Todd Helton, it's that he doesn't know the strike zone. He guesses strike calls all freaking day, and the result is a cluster of awkward looking ABs and pissed off pitchers.

He squeezed Clayton Kershaw and Jhoulys Chacin right out of the game in the 5th and 6th innings respectively because he wouldn't give either pitcher a consistent strike zone. Inside corner, outside corner, knees, letters, Iassogna hadn't the first clue what he wanted to call, so most of them were balls.

Ninth inning comes around. All the sudden he's ringing up Helton on a ball a good 8-10 inches of the outside corner. It never had a piece of the plate at any part of its flight. It was a 3-2 pitch. If Helton walks, the entire inning changes. But if Iassogna had established a strike zone earlier, the whole game would have changed.

It irritates me to no end that these men in blue have one job to do. Sure they won't be perfect, but you can't have a guy guessing pitches. If you or I went through our day guessing at work, we wouldn't be employed very long. How these clowns are allowed to do it day after day is beyond me.

Losing Player: Ryan Spilborghs

Rough 0-for-5 day in the two hole.  No other clear candidate.

Jhoulys Chacin was up and down. As was Kersahw. Again, I put that squarely on Iassogna.

Both sides received fantastic efforts from their bullpens. Esmil Rogers stands above all with his three scoreless innings. That'll allow Jim Tracy to have all his key pieces tomorrow afternoon in San Francisco.

That game will feature a decent pitching matchup I hear. I hope your plans involve sitting in front of a TV somewhere watching it. The entire baseball world will be watching along with you,