Giants starter Matt Morris was ejected in the first inning after hitting two batters and throwing just eight pitches. Morris, in all likelihood, intentionally plunked Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday to even the score from the Mesa-Vizquel feud.
But after home plate umpire Travis Reininger, a Triple-A reserve, issued a warning to both clubs, it was apparent Morris had no intentions of taking the incident further by hitting another batter.
And wouldn’t you know it? Two batters later, Eli Marrero was drilled by a Morris’ pitch, prompting Reininger to eject the right-hander, along with San Francisco manager Felipe Alou and pitching coach Dave Righetti, who threw his pitching counter onto the field.
"They shouldn't have thrown Morris out right there. He hits him with a breaking ball, and he hit a guy earlier in the inning,” said Rockies reliever Ray King, who also was ejected for hitting Vizquel in the back in the eighth inning.
“It's a we-hit-their-guy, they-hit-our-guy and it's over with,” King said. “It was over with, and the umps took away from the game and lost control when they threw out Morris.”
Home plate umpire Travis Reininger would also lose control of the strike zone in the bottom of the 10th inning as a questionable call led to the Rockies walk-off 3-2 win.
Instead Ojeda got new life and deposited the next pitch from Fassero into centerfield to score Marrero for the game-winner.
“I thought the guy was out,” said Alou, who was watching on a clubhouse television. “Saw a strike on the corner that was not ruled a strike.”
In top of the ninth and Barry Bonds lone at-bat, Reininger called a similar pitch a strike to Bonds. The Giants slugger later struck out to end the inning.
Umpiring crew chief Derryl Cousins said they were unaware of the Mesa-Vizquel feud and only found out when Alou brought it to their attention Saturday.
“We can't just stand out there and let them throw at each other all day long," Cousins said, as the umpires figured they had to do something after a second batter was struck in the first inning.
Morris disagreed with the thought process as he said a pitcher must wait five days to pitch and would not ever imagine leaving in the first inning.
“That doesn't make any sense,” said Morris. "With our starters and the pounding the bullpen has taken, why after a warning ... that's the last thing I wanted. That's unfortunate they think that way.”
The brewing feud between the division rivals will heat up again when the Rockies and Giants meet at the friendly confines of AT&T Park on May 26-28.
“Whoever is in charge of stopping it better stop it and stop it soon. Because we play 15 more games,” Alou said.
Until then, San Francisco will have their hands full when they return to their home ballpark and welcome in the first-place New York Mets.
Game Notes: The Giants designated Tyler Walker for assignment Saturday, and purchased the contract of Brian Wilson from Triple-A Fresno. … “It was very difficult,” San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. “He just hasn't been the same pitcher. His velocity was down, and he had no life on his fastball. That has been missing since last year. Personally, I love him and the way he plays. Everybody likes him.” … Second baseman Ray Durham left the game in the sixth with a hamstring injury. It was just a matter of time, we suspected. Durham is day-to-day. … The Giants and Rockies are tied for first with an identical record of 10-8.
SFDugout.com player(s) of the game: The few bright spots for Sunday’s ugly contest were the relief corps (save for Uncle Jeff, of course). Kevin Correia filled in nicely for a departed Morris by pitching 5 1/3 innings, allowing only one run to keep the Giants in the game. Brian Wilson, he of Giants idol fame as Billy Idol this past spring training, made his major-league debut, displaying a mid-90’s fastball to ease the transition from a lifeless Tyler Walker. The 24-year-old rookie pitched two innings of scoreless ball, while striking out three batters.
Phil Delacruz was a transplanted Giants fan, buried in the Southland. After four strenuous years in College, studying (read: partying), he's back in the beautiful "City by the Bay" – San Francisco. Do you think he should move back to LALA land? Or do you like him where he is now and appreciate the good reads? Either way, send him an e-mail at email@example.com to air out your frustrations or, more likely, songs of praise.
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