A.J. Cole had one of those things pitchers never want to have happen to them happen to him in this afternoon’s start against the Colorado Rockies. It wasn’t the two-run HR that Charlie Blackmon hit off him in the third, or the two-out RBI single that opposing pitcher Jorge De La Rosa sent to center in the fourth, but the wild pitch he threw on what was supposed to an intentional ball to Daniel Descalso in the at bat before De La Rosa’s hit.
Cole almost worked his way out of a second and third, no-out jam, retiring two batters after Nolan Arenado singled and David Dahl doubled to start the fourth.
With two and two out and the Rockies’ No. 8 hitter up, Washington Nationals’ skipper Dusty Baker called for an intentional walk to Descalso, but Cole fired the first ball he threw by catcher Wilson Ramos and all the way to the backstop, allowing Arenado to score from third and make it a 2-0 game.
De La Rosa followed with his two-out single and the Rockies took a 4-0 lead.
“I haven’t seen an intentional walk go awry in a long time,” Baker told reporters, after what ended up a 9-4 loss in extra innings.
“And that’s one reason why — they were going to say just take your base intentionally — but that’s a reason for it not to, because you never know when a guy is going to throw one away.”
Cole had no explanation for what went wrong on that one. “Really don’t know,” he said.
“It’s just one of those things that happened, first time I’ve ever done it and hopefully it never happens again.”
The three runs were the only ones Cole allowed in 5 2⁄3 IP, in which he gave up four hits and three walks, throwing 112 pitches before he was lifted.
“I felt pretty good,” Cole said. “My location was a little off, but I made the best of it, and went about it.”
“Probably was centering some balls and they didn’t miss them,” Baker said.
Through two starts the 24-year-old, 2010 14th Round, who received no decision today, is (0-1) with a 4.97 ERA, a 5.75 FIP, five walks (3.55 BB/9) and 12 Ks (8.53 K/9) in 12 2⁄3 IP.
When Cole was pulled from the mound with one on and two out in the sixth, he received a nice ovation from the crowd in the nation’s capital.
“Fans here are great,” he said when asked about the reaction. “Go out there and pitch the best I can and then get an ovation like that, it means a lot to me.”