The Dodgers win on a walkoff balk

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Casey Blake walkoff balk.jpgI’m struggling to think of a game that a team so unceremoniously gave away like the Diamondbacks gave away last night’s game to the Dodgers.

As I mentioned in the recaps, the game ended on a walkoff balk, which is something you just don’t see every day. Here’s the video. I’m not gonna say that Esmerling Vasquez was a bit rattled at that point, but if Casey Blake makes you think he’s gonna steal home, you need to get a handle on your nerves.

But I suppose that was just one screw up.  For two you have to go to Kelly Johnson’s double error in the eighth inning. First he bobbled and then he threw away a routine grounder. This with two outs and a two-run lead in the eighth inning. Two runs scored on that play, setting the stage for the balkoff.  Here is a rather stylized replay of the Johnson play, which I like better than the straight replay because it sort of captures the slow-motion horror of the thing you just knew that Johnson was feeling.

It’s one thing to get bashed, but that game was first thrown away and then, via the balk, not thrown away.  Dbacks’ fans have to be disgusted this morning.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.