SAN FRANCISCO – As players filed out of the clubhouse late Thursday night, Andrew McCutchen walked over to his locker with a paper sign taped to his chest. It read “McKKKKutchen,” a nod to his four-strikeout game.
The attempt to bring some levity to a tough loss was appreciated. But others Giants were still peeved.
Manager Bruce Bochy repeatedly uttered the word “frustrating” in describing a 3-2 call that went against Brandon Crawford to open the bottom of the 12th inning of a 5-3 loss. A day after Brandon Belt put a home plate ump on blast, Crawford also expressed his displeasure.
The pitch in question came with the Giants trailing by two and Wade Davis on the mound. The called third strike was low, but not by that much. Crawford was more upset with the sequence of events. The first called ball in that at-bat had been on a similar pitch that was actually higher in the zone than the one he was rung up on by Chris Segal.
“The biggest thing is he called ball one down and (catcher Chris) Iannetta talked to him and said he didn’t agree with it, and then the ball that was even lower than the one you called a ball, you call a strike to end my at-bat,” Crawford said. “That’s the biggest thing I have issue with. If you call the first pitch a strike, then I know I’ve got to protect there.”
Crawford dropped his bat after the pitch, assuming he had drawn a leadoff walk. It escalated from there. There’s no doubt that an umpire’s job is hard, especially when guys have the kind of stuff that Davis has, but Segal ramped things up by twice telling Crawford to pick up his bat. Crawford was on his way back to the dugout.
“I got thrown out of a Major League Baseball game for not picking up my bat. I’ve never heard of that before. That’s a first for me,” Crawford said. “I feel like we have somebody in the dugout who it’s literally their job to pick up the bat.”
The bat boy did come out, but not before Crawford had been ejected for the second time in his career. Bochy was sent out, too, and after a pair of walks, the Giants went down to Davis and the Rockies, who came in as the second-place team in the division.
The first matchup between these two was a good one. The Rockies have revamped their bullpen, making up for a lineup that’s in a world of hurt. The Giants got an improved performance from Jeff Samardzija and their own bullpen held strong until Carlos Gonzalez dropped a two-run single into center off Cory Gearrin in the top of the 12th.
Players said afterward that they expect to play plenty of close ones with these Rockies, and thus, they’ll need all hands on deck. With Crawford gone, the Giants would have sent Ty Blach out to play the field had they tied it in the bottom of the 12th.
“It’s frustrating. It’s two games in a row,” Bochy said of the call. “Guys are doing a great job of laying off pitches and they’re balls. It’s frustrating. Now we’ve got the leadoff runner on. It’s frustrating. Those are balls. You’re competitive and you’re trying to come back and the call went their way.”