BOSTON — New ball-tracking technology is headed to Major League Baseball and could be fully in place for the start of the 2020 season. For Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland, that technology can’t get here fast enough.
Freeland gave up three home runs in Colorado’s 5-4 victory over the Red Sox on Tuesday night, including a first-inning home run down the left-field line to Michael Chavis. The home run looked to be foul by several feet, but a crew-chief review upheld the original call on the field. Freeland was unhappy with the decision.
Last Thursday, Nolan Arenado hit a long drive to extreme left through the snow at Coors Field and was certain he had hit his second home run of the game, but a crew-chief review out of New York ruled that the ball was foul.
A new system, however, would be able to better track the flight of baseballs, potentially leading to fewer mistakes and controversy on home run calls. MLB plans to switch from its current radar- and camera-based systems to a device manufactured by Hawk-Eye — the company whose electronic line judge changed professional tennis. That news was first reported in The Athletic.
“I’m absolutely for that change,” Freeland said Wednesday. “Within one week, we’ve fallen on, what we believe, was the short side of two home run balls. Nolan’s, we truly thought was fair, especially when we saw where (the ball) landed. And then there was what happened last night.
“It was a tower shot. It was hit very hard and very high and very far, but from my angle and the dugout’s angle it looked like it went foul. But there really was no way to tell if it went foul after the pole or before the pole.”
Murphy sits again. First baseman Daniel Murphy, a left-handed hitter, was out of the starting lineup for the fourth consecutive game Wednesday night, as the Rockies faced a left-handed starter for the seventh consecutive game.
Manager Bud Black said sitting Murphy is just a matter of pitching matchups and said the broken finger that landed Murphy on the injured list is not a factor, even though Murphy continues to wear a splint.
“It’s just a matchup thing. He played last night,” Black said, referring to Murphy’s one pinch-hit at-bat in an 11-inning game that resulted in Murphy striking out.
Murphy, who went on the IL on March 30 with a broken left index finger, missed 20 games. Overall, he’s batting .200 (12-for-60) with two home runs and 13 RBIs. He is actually hitting for a better average against left-handers (.294) than vs. right-handers (.163).
Special K? The Rockies set a franchise record for nine innings by striking out 21 times Tuesday night and ultimately fanned 24 times in 11 innings, tying a franchise record for most whiffs in a game of any length (also in an 18-inning loss at San Francisco on April 12).
But were the Rockies the first team to strike out 24 times and still win the game? Nope. In fact, on June 3 of last season, the Cubs struck out 24 times in 14 innings — including 13 K’s in seven innings against Mets ace Jacob deGrom — but ended up beating the Mets 7-1.