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Rockies score game-winning run on Nationals’ historic pitch-clock violation


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Sometimes, baseball is weird. And that point was underscored Saturday night in the Colorado Rockies’ 8-7 win over the Washington Nationals.

The Rockies loaded the bases in the ninth inning, with the game tied at 7-7. Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon was up at the plate with Nationals pitcher Kyle Finnegan on the mound. McMahon fell behind in the count 0-2, but fought back.

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Colorado Rockies’ Ryan McMahon celebrates after he was walked with the bases loaded to give the Rockies a win against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/Geneva Heffernan)

The count was 3-2 when the unimaginable happened. Finnegan suffered a pitch-clock violation. Jake Cave came home to score the game-winning run and the Rockies celebrated.

It was the first time in MLB history that a game was decided by a pitch-clock violation. The pitch clock was instituted in 2023.

Finnegan leads the league with nine pitch-clock violations.

“I’m just trying to focus on the pitch and then location,” Finnegan said. “I thought I picked up the clock. I guess by the time I picked up and looked at the catcher and delivered the pitch, I was just a hair too late. Those situations, it just can’t happen. We deserved to win, and I wasn’t able to do my job.”

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Kyle Finnegan throws

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Kyle Finnegan throws against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field on June 22, 2024, in Denver. (Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Finnegan came into the game for Hunter Harvey to try and close the game out. He allowed an RBI single to Brenton Doyle and then McMahon’s walk.

“You hate to see a game decided that way, but I’m happy it worked out in our favor,” McMahon said. “I’m never looking (at the clock). I’m letting the umpire do his job. I didn’t know what was going on until the umpire said something.”

Finnegan had converted 21 of his last 23 save chances. He has a 2.30 ERA in 32 appearances.

Ryan McMahon and Nolan Jones celebrates

Colorado Rockies’ Ryan McMahon and Nolan Jones celebrate the team’s win against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/Geneva Heffernan)

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“Kyle has had some trouble lately with the clock,” Washington manager Dave Martinez said. “It hadn’t really cost him to that point, but it’s something that we’ve kind of felt like might come back to haunt him at some point. He could have stepped off, but it’s a tough situation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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