Frustrated Carlos Gonzalez ejected in Rockies’ loss to Cubs

Frustrated Carlos Gonzalez ejected in Rockies’ loss to Cubs

CHICAGO — It was a very un-CarGo-like moment.

In the midst of the Rockies’ four-run rally in the fifth inning Sunday, with the bases loaded and no outs, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was called out on strikes by home plate umpire Marvin Hudson. Gonzalez argued, tossed in a few choice words, and was ejected for only the second time in his 10-year career.

“Obviously, everybody knows I’m not a guy who argues balls and strikes. I’ve been in this league for a long time and I can’t remember the last time I got ejected,” Gonzalez said after the Cubs won 7-5 to end Colorado’s seven-game winning streak. “I thought it was a bad pitch.”

Gonzalez said he went into the Rockies’ clubhouse after his ejection and looked at video of the inside pitch from Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta.

“Sometimes you go back and see it and you think, well, (the umpire) was right,” Gonzalez said. “But this time, it was a bad pitch. I said a few words and he tossed me.”

The only other time Gonzalez was ejected: Sept. 9, 2011, against Cincinnati in the fifth inning at Coors Field.

Gonzalez admitted that his ejection Sunday was also fueled by his inability to drive in runs during Colorado’s comeback. Gonzalez has driven in only 19 runs in 158 at-bats this season and is hitting .157 (8-for-51) with runners in scoring position.

“I think it was about the situation too,” he said. “We had runners on and the bases loaded and there is an opportunity to score some runs and keep the inning going.

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“So that’s what really frustrated me. I’ve said for a long time that I’m not a guy who’s going to get frustrated (about) getting outs. But I get upset when I feel like I have an opportunity to help the team and I don’t.”

McGee bouncing back. Left-handed reliever Jake McGee figures he was pitching with “maybe 70, 80 percent strength” in his left leg last season because of a wobbly knee. The injury robbed him of not only his fastball velocity, but accuracy.

Now that he’s healthy, McGee has become an increasingly dependable late-inning arm out of the bullpen. He’s riding a scoreless streak of 12⅓ innings, the second-longest by a Colorado pitcher this season.

“With my knee healthy, and my strength back, I think, now, I’m able to mess with hitters’ timing more,” said McGee, who owns a 1.40 ERA, with 32 strikeouts and only five walks in 25⅔ innings. “It’s a mix of other things too. I’m a year older and smarter now. I know how to vary counts and know what pitches to throw at the right time. But mostly, it’s about my location.”

McGee has earned manager Bud Black’s trust.

“Jake pitched last year with a very balky knee,”  Black said. “That’s going to affect a lot of stuff — velocity, location, action on pitches. Now, because his lower half is where it needs to be, his velocity is up and he can drive the ball to where it’s intended.”

According to Fangraphs, McGee’s overall fastball velocity is up from 93.4 mph last season to 94.5 this season.

Footnotes. Mark Reynolds‘ tear continued Sunday. The first baseman went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He has driven in 54 runs, surpassing the 53 RBIs he had last season. … Ian Desmond went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and has three multihit games in his last five outings. … Colorado finished its season series with the Cubs at 5-2, its most wins against the Cubs since 2000.

Looking ahead …

Starting pitcher Kyle Freeland #31 of ...
Matthew Stockman, Getty Images

Starting pitcher Kyle Freeland #31 of the Colorado Rockies throws in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs during the second game of a double header at Coors Field on May 9, 2017 in Denver.

Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (7-3, 3.34 ERA) at Pirates RHP Jameson Taillon (2-1, 3.31), 5:05 p.m. Monday, ROOT; 850 AM

Taillon will be making his first start since May 3 after having surgery for testicular cancer. Taillon put up a 3.31 ERA in six starts before his diagnosis. In his final start at Triple-A, Taillon allowed five runs in six innings and struck out nine. Freeland, one of four rookies in the Rockies’ rotation, is coming off a fine performance last Wednesday against Cleveland at Coors Field, where he pitched 6⅓ innings, giving up one run and six hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Freeland is 4-0 on the road with a 3.18 ERA. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post

Tuesday: Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-7, 4.38 ERA) at Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (3-6, 4.83), 5:05 p.m., ROOT

Wednesday: Rockies RHP German Marquez (4-3. 4.44) at Pirates RHP Chad Kuhl (1-5, 5.63), 5:05 p.m., ROOT

Thursday: Giants LHP Matt Moore (2-7, 5.28) at Rockies RHP Jeff Hoffman (4-0, 2.33), 6:40 p.m., ROOT


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