DENVER -- Tuesday night's 7-2 loss to the Giants gave left fielder Gerardo Parra a couple of chances to show off the throwing arm that helped him to two Rawlings Gold Glove Awards and led the Rockies to sign him for three years and $27.5 million. But he needed to capitalize on the second to make up for how he handled the first.
With two out in the third inning and Denard Span at second base, Parra scooped Hunter Pence's single off pitcher Tyler Chatwood and tried to throw out Span at the plate. An accurate throw might have been sufficient, but Parra noted that even throwing to the plate was an unnecessary risk. The throw was high and wide of the plate, and Pence took second base wth the game tied at 1.
"I tried to throw hard, down, and it took off," Parra said. "I feel mad. I didn't throw to the cutoff. That's not me."
Redemption came when the next hitter, Brandon Belt, singled to Parra, who made a throw that was impressive to the eye and to the metrics to erase Pence.
According to Statcast™, the throw was clocked at 94.3 mph -- faster than many pitchers' fastballs -- and traveled 231.1 feet. He needed just 0.57 seconds to pull the ball from his glove and fire.
"I wanted to protect my pitcher," Parra said. "It was my fault that [Pence] was at second because of my first throw. We made an out at home plate. That's good for me and I'm happy for Chatwood."
Of course, a left fielder with a lesser arm might not have been tempted to throw to the plate the first time. But if that's the curse, Parra and the Rockies will accept the blessing. Throws like the one that beat Pence can win games.
"It's hard, but I've got to keep it in my mind that I need to make a good throw," Parra said. "It's hard when I throw like that. I work hard every day to help my team."