Sick Barnes leaves Rockies bench shorthanded
DENVER -- The Rockies' unsuccessful attempt at a comeback in Saturday night's 8-5 loss to the Padres was hampered by the unavailability of outfielder Brandon Barnes, who came down with food poisoning on Friday night.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss was left with right-handed hitting outfielder Corey Dickerson and right-handed hitting infielder Charlie Culberson as his primary substitutes. As is the case most games, Weiss wanted to hold off on using backup catcher Michael McKenry as long as possible. With the Rockies going with 13 pitchers, any illness or injury is an issue.
It would have been nice to have Barnes, who is hitting .400 (6-for-15) with a double and a triple as a pinch-hitter, as well as .400 as a substitute (8-for-20).
"I don't know [what caused the illness], to be honest," Barnes said. "Something I had for dinner didn't sit well. I woke up at 3 in the morning throwing up.
"I mean, I told them I was ready if they needed me. But I had chills and stuff like that."
By game's end Barnes said he felt better, but a little weak.
Considering that Barnes barely slept and spent most of the wee hours of Saturday tossing up his meal, and spent the pregame hours wrapped in towels in a desperate attempt to regulate his body temperature and feel better, circumstances would have had to have been special.
Even without Barnes, the Rockies trimmed a 6-1 deficit through 2 1/2 innings to 6-5 by the end of the sixth. When Padres pinch-hitter Carlos Quentin hit a two-run homer with two out in the seventh and the Rockies went quiet, there was no need for Barnes to try to roll his sick body to the plate.
Weiss is not the type to call for bunts early in the game, but the short bench was yet another reason for him not to consider it when down, 6-3, with one out in the fifth and runners at first and second. The Rockies wanted a big inning, but Padres starter Robbie Erlin worked pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson into an inning-ending double play.
"We're not going to bunt at that point in the game," Weiss said. "We're down three. We're trying to go for a big inning right there."