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#pounditTuesday, September 29, 2020

Lance McCullers angered by Diamondbacks opening Chase Field roof mid-game

Lance McCullers Jr

Houston Astros pitcher Lance McCullers thought there was some foul play involved in the Arizona Diamondbacks opening the Chase Field roof during the middle of Wednesday’s game.

McCullers had thrown three perfect innings against the Diamondbacks before the Chase Field roof opened at the start of the fourth inning. The Astros pitcher promptly collapsed as Arizona scored nine runs in the bottom of the fourth to chase McCullers, with the first seven hitters of the frame reaching base.

The pitcher said the decision to open the roof in the middle of the game was “a–,” and seemed to blame the open roof for turning what he felt would be routine outs into extra base hits.

“There were some routine balls that kind of carried up there and got deep,” McCullers said, via Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. “It got very dry. I was trying to lick my fingers and was warned I couldn’t do that — obviously, COVID. I was having a hard time there in the fourth. It’s not an excuse. It just is what it is. Balls were being hit that were routine popups and they were landing off walls.”

There’s no conspiracy here, though. As Piecoro noted, the Diamondbacks had planned to open the roof before the fourth inning before the game started, so the move to do so should not have come as a surprise.

McCullers has certainly had his share of frustrations this season already. He may have a point about whether it’s helpful or not to change stadium dynamics mid-game, but there’s more to a nine-run inning than bad luck. Plus, he’s unlikely to receive much sympathy given his association with the Astros.

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