It was all about one big swing for the second straight day for the Phillies who got three runs in the first inning on a two-out Maikel Franco home run. And the Rockies were immediately behind the eight-ball.
Rookie starter Tyler Anderson battled back, pitching through the next two innings without allowing any hits. But when he plunked Franco leading off the fourth inning on a tailing inside fastball, home plate umpire Eric Cooper took issue with either the pitch or Anderson’s demonstrative gesturing afterward and immediately tossed him from the game.
It was one of the most unusual ejections in recent memory. Usually, on either over-the-top language or even inside pitches, a warning is issued but none was in this case and the odd event concluded with manager Walt Weiss being told to leave as well.
The Rockies got back into it with a pair of home runs in the sixth from an unlikely duo of Daniel Descalso and Tony Wolters. It was their third and second home runs of the year, respectively, making the back-to-back shot that much more surprising.
At 4-3, the Rockies were briefly within one, but the continued struggles of rookie reliever Carlos Estevez led to another couple of runs for the Phillies in the seventh after Chris Rusin had worked three scoreless innings.
David Dahl smacked a pair of doubles, improving his batting average to .342 and starting a new hit streak just a day after his history-making 18-game streak was broken.
The ejections and a home plate umpire who was clearly on edge — not to mention a highly questionable called strike three to end the game with the tying run at the plate — make this a difficult game to analyze from any kind of “true talent” or long-term perspective.
As it bodes for the Rockies 2016 season, though, they are running out of games they can afford to lose because “stuff happens.” The offense left 11 men on base and Nolan Arenado is 1-for-his-last-14 with a number of rally-killing double plays.
The Rockies star needs to turn things around if the club is going to.
One more in Philly tomorrow afternoon … or morning in Colorado. Tyler Chatwood will take on Adam Morgan as the Rockies try to salvage one game of this key series.