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Tracy keeps umps busy in early innings

Tracy keeps umps busy in early innings

DENVER -- Rockies manager Jim Tracy nearly argued for the cycle during the first three innings of Monday's Game 4 of the National League Division Series, a 5-4 loss to the Phillies that ended the Rockies' season.

It was largely forgotten by the time the game turned wild in the eighth. Tracy, not one to plead cases often, left his dugout for discussions with first-base umpire Angel Hernandez in the top of the first, second-base umpire Tim Timmons in the bottom of the first and third-base umpire and crew chief Gerry Davis in the third.

The direct impact on the result of the game was debatable. But if nothing else, Tracy received plenty of face time and the TBS directors were able to test their many camera angles.

With the Phillies up, 1-0, and one on in the first, Ryan Howard grounded into a possible double play. But Hernandez ruled that first baseman Todd Helton's foot was not on the bag. That prompted visit No. 1.

In the bottom of the first with two on and no outs, Helton hit a soft bouncer to Phillies starter Cliff Lee, who bobbled the ball initially but threw to shortstop Jimmy Rollins covering second. Timmons called Dexter Fowler out on the force play. From the replay, it appeared Rollins caught the ball with his glove in front of the bag and Fowler stepped on Rollins' glove.

Of course, while fans were watching it again from numerous angles, Tracy was receiving a personal explanation from Timmons.

In the third, Chase Utley singled to right field with Shane Victorino at first base. Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez made a pinpoint throw to third baseman Garrett Atkins, and Davis ruled Victorino safe. After several different shots, TBS produced a replay showing that Atkins did make a tag, but it was close whether it was in time.

By then, Tracy was deep into his third discussion of the game.

Division Series
Gm. 1PHI 5, COL 1WrapVideo
Gm. 2COL 5, PHI 4WrapVideo
Gm. 3PHI 6, COL 5WrapVideo
Gm. 4PHI 5, COL 4WrapVideo

Tracy has said he does not leave the dugout unless he really wants to make a point. After three trips, Tracy kept away from the umpires.

There were numerous disputed plays during the series.

In the 5-1 Game 1 loss at Citizens Bank Park, catcher Yorvit Torrealba was called out at third on a call from Ron Kulpa that replays didn't support. Also, Lee was ruled safe at second on a pickoff, although Lee reacted as if he was out. Jerry Meals ruled him safe. A call worked against the Phillies, where Bob Davidson ruled Rollins out at first although replays showed he was clearly safe.

The Rockies disputed a couple of game-turning calls in the top of the ninth inning of a 6-5 loss in Game 3. Utley hit a pitch that replays showed bounced off his leg, but none of the umpires saw it. Kulpa, at first base, also ruled that Helton's foot was off the bag when he received a throw from pitcher Huston Street on the play. The Rockies felt Helton was still on the bag.

Shortly thereafter, Howard knocked in the deciding run on a sacrifice fly.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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