D-backs’ Lovullo wants MLB to review Kuhl-Varsho incident: ‘I’m pissed’

Jul 9, 2022, 7:52 AM | Updated: Jul 11, 2022, 8:13 am
Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, left, argues with umpire Paul Emmel during the fifth in...

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, left, argues with umpire Paul Emmel during the fifth inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, July 8, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo is not too happy with what transpired in Friday night’s 6-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field.

“Yeah, I’m pissed. I don’t like that type of baseball,” Lovullo said postgame when asked about an incident that took place in the fifth inning.

With the bases loaded, two outs and an 0-2 count on Rockies C.J. Cron, D-backs starter Zac Gallen was one pitch away from getting out of a jam while still preserving a 4-3 lead. But an errant pitch from Gallen hit Cron in the wrist, which not only tied the game at 4-4, but forced Cron to leave the game with a wrist contusion. X-rays during the game came back negative.

And in the bottom half of the frame with two outs and the bases empty, Colorado starter Chad Kuhl threw the first pitch of Daulton Varsho’s at-bat directly behind the left-handed hitter.

The inaccuracy of the pitch caused Lovullo to come out of the dugout and get an explanation from the umpiring crew, which ended up prompting a warning for both teams.

“It seemed to me there was clear intent by their pitcher who went rogue. I don’t know if he was told to go rogue and try and throw at our batter, the first batter when he got two outs,” Lovullo said. “I thought that was the design of it and that’s my opinion. I think if you were to pull a lot of baseball people, they would say the exact same thing. I don’t like my players getting thrown at and it pissed me off. It pissed me off and I didn’t understand why their pitcher didn’t get ejected. That was my argument.

“I felt like if they felt like there was any intent and as soon as they issued warnings it’s clear that they felt that there was some sort of intent and that equals an ejection. We hadn’t done anything. Clearly, Zac was unwinding. He hits C.J. and I hope he’s OK, he’s having a great year. But it was the tying run, common sense needs to play out a little more clearly in this situation as far as I’m concerned.

“I will say this: the league does a really nice job of jumping in and identifying these types of situations. I hope they pay close attention to the situation and make the right decision.”

Rockies manager Bud Black followed Lovullo leaving the dugout and came out of his own to have a few words with the umpires. Black was visibly more animated than Lovullo in his argument as he pointed in the direction of the Diamondbacks skipper from across the diamond.

It’s unclear and it may never be known what exactly was said on the field, but Black may have been upset about the fact that Cron has now been hit seven times in 103 plate appearances (6.79%) against D-backs pitching since joining the Rockies in 2021.

“I don’t believe any of them were on purpose necessarily,” Cron told reporters postgame. “But at the same time, (seven) times in a year and a half is a lot. It is what is. They are not afraid to get in there.”

Lovullo declined to go into what was said on the field.

“That’s between me and everybody else and what happens on the field stays on the field,” he said.

“I just hope that if there are microphones on the umpires — I’m thinking there are because they have quoted me and I don’t know how they are quoting me in some of my ejections. I know there are a lot of field mics, but I’m saying some things and I don’t know how they’re getting (those quotes) so I’m hoping the umpires have some mics on them and they review very thoroughly. I will leave it at that.”

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