ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Rundown throw hits Calhoun’s head, Lovullo ejected after arguing odd play

Aug 24, 2020, 9:04 PM | Updated: 11:52 pm

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo argues with the umpire after a balk call was overturned ...

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo argues with the umpire after a balk call was overturned during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was ejected from Monday’s game against the Colorado Rockies after a play we’ll probably never see again.

In the bottom of the fifth inning with Kole Calhoun on first base and one out, Ketel Marte popped out to short left field.

Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia thought he had a beat on Calhoun, so he aggressively threw towards first after the catch. The throw was very short, two-hopping and making it difficult to handle for first baseman Daniel Murphy.

The ball went behind Murphy, and Calhoun naturally went for second base. But Colorado catcher Tony Wolters was in the right position covering behind Murphy in case of that type of throw occurred, so he fielded the ball and threw to second.

“Instincts tell you to go, and so as I’m running I look back to see what had happened behind me and wasn’t expecting Wolters to be there with the ball,” Calhoun said.

Calhoun noticed Wolters’ throw headed right in the path of his head. So, he decided to turn back forwards and have the ball just hit him in the helmet.

“Seemed like the natural thing to do,” Calhoun said with a laugh.

The ball bounced away from second base and Calhoun advanced but was ruled out, presumably for interfering with the path of the throw, albeit rather unconventionally with his noggin.

Calhoun said he’s not familiar with the specific rule, but added that he did not “deviate too much from his path.”

“The ball is literally coming right at my head,” he said.

“Was I trying to let it hit me? Yeah!”

Calhoun spoke about the play as if he had no other choice given that he was likely out if he ducked out of the way, also known as the natural reaction for nearly every human being put in a situation when a projectile is headed towards their cranium.

The play, though, speaks to the type of competitive mindset Calhoun plays with that has already been on display in right field all season.

“Everybody that I talked to prior to meeting him and having time with him told me this was the type of guy he is and it’s just playing out better and better for me each day,” Lovullo said after the game.

Lovullo came out to argue the call and was rather upset, quickly getting ejected. He said after the game he did not believe Calhoun had the intention to interfere with the play, referring to the decision by the umpires as a “judgment call.”

On further replay angles shown, especially down the first-base line that the umpires saw, it looked as if Calhoun did, in fact, break the rules by getting in the path of the ball by leaning into it. Even if, yes, as bizarre as it sounds that it was with his skull.

That was the case made by the umpire.

Calhoun described his action as a “duck,” which, yeah that’s a pretty solid argument when you watch the replay above and see the way he moves his head.

Lovullo said that it’s probably the most frustrated he’s ever been about a call as the D-backs’ manager since 2017. Earlier in the game, a Rockies pitcher was called for a balk by the home plate umpire before a meeting of all the umpires ended up with them overruling the decision.

Lovullo said he’s never seen that happen before in a baseball game and noted that it did build up his frustration to the Calhoun call.

“I don’t know if it was right or wrong,” Calhoun said. “I just let it hit me and see what happens.”

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks...

Alex Weiner

What was Step 1 for the Diamondbacks’ newest farm director?

The D-backs had a significant leadership change in player development this winter, replacing Josh Barfield with Shaun Larkin as farm director.

1 day ago

Elvis Andrus...

Alex Weiner

15-year vet Elvis Andrus joins Diamondbacks’ backup shortstop race

The Diamondbacks signed 15-year MLB veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus to a minor league contract with an invite to major league spring training.

1 day ago

Slade Cecconi...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Slade Cecconi working to establish changeup amid 5th starter battle

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Slade Cecconi went into his latest spring training start with a clear objective to focus on his changeup.

2 days ago

Matt Chapman making a play...

Associated Press

Diamondbacks’ NL West foe Giants reportedly sign 3B Matt Chapman

The San Francisco Giants reportedly signed four-time Gold Glove winner Matt Chapman to a three-year contract.

2 days ago

Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks’ Christian Walker suffers hand contusion on hit-by-pitch: ‘We dodged a bullet’

Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker "dodged a bullet" with no broken bones after getting hit by a pitch in spring training. 

3 days ago

Presented By...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Who would you rather? (Arizona Sports version)

Burns & Gambo play a game of 'Who would you rather?' after the photo of Kyler Murray, Corbin Carroll and Devin Booker was shared from Boardroom's Instagram.

4 days ago

Rundown throw hits Calhoun’s head, Lovullo ejected after arguing odd play