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.”

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

Arizona Diamondbacks' Christian Walker (53) is tagged out by San Francisco Giants first baseman LaM...

Associated Press

Diamondbacks’ bats go quiet in shutout loss to Giants

Diamondbacks hitters went three-up, three-down in seven innings on Thursday as they dropped the series opener to the Giants.

12 hours ago

Ryne Nelson...

Arizona Sports

Ryne Nelson pulled after 2 innings with right elbow contusion

D-backs' Ryne Nelson exited a series-opening loss to the San Francisco Giants after a ball came back to hit his throwing arm.

14 hours ago

Eugenio Suárez...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks drop messy getaway game to Cubs in avoidable series loss

The group of self-inflicted losses from the Diamondbacks early this season grew on Wednesday against the Cubs.

2 days ago

Jordan Montgomery...

Arizona Sports

Jordan Montgomery to debut for Diamondbacks with start Friday vs. Giants

Jordan Montgomery will make his Arizona Diamondbacks debut Friday against the San Francisco Giants, manager Torey Lovullo told reporters.

2 days ago

Tommy Henry...

Alex Weiner

Diamondbacks roster moves: Tommy Henry optioned, Eduardo Rodriguez moved to 60-day IL

The Arizona Diamondback made roster moves to help the bullpen after back-to-back extra-inning games against the Chicago Cubs.

2 days ago

Randal Grichuk...

Alex Weiner

Clutch moments from Ketel Marte, Randal Grichuk push Diamondbacks to win over Cubs

Randal Grichuk smoked a gapper to walk the Cubs off and give the D-backs a victory that left manager Torey Lovullo emotionally drained. 

2 days ago

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