Cole Ragans Gets Burned Again on a Questionable Home Run Call

For the second consecutive game, Kansas City Royals starter Cole Ragans fell victim to a questionable home run call.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - APRIL 03: Cole Ragans #55 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 03, 2024 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

DENVER — Another game and another home run that has Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Cole Ragans wondering exactly how he offended the baseball gods.

For the second consecutive game, Ragans was the victim of a questionable home run call, this one in the third inning of what would be an eventual 4-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

After cruising through the first seven batters of the game, Ragans saw Colorado’s Michael Toglia lift a fly ball to left field. The ball escaped the outstretched glove of Dairon Blanco … but did it get some help from a Rockies fan making it over the wall?

The MLB replay officials eventually ruled that there was no fan interference, keeping Toglia’s home run on the board and making Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro wonder what they were seeing that he didn’t.

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“I honestly don’t know,” Quatraro said after the game when asked what explanation he received about the non-call. “I don’t know what the explanation was, and whatever it was, it’s going to be a bad explanation because there was clearly fan interference. There’s no chance that it should have been called anything else. We have a system that is … I don’t want to say the system’s broken, but that call? That was a mistake.”

It would be one of just five hits that Ragans would surrender on his way to his 13th quality start of the season, tied for the fourth-most among AL starters. The 26-year-old southpaw allowed two runs over 7.0 innings of work, lowering his ERA to 3.16 over his last seven starts (42.2 innings), but still had to shrug off a call that he told reporters after his game was out of his hands.

“Yeah, it sucks, fighting for the team and trying to get us a win, doing everything I can. But, at the end of the day, it’s out of our hands and there’s nothing we can do about it,” Ragans said. “You just have to move on and keep executing.”

Ragans has become good at shrugging off questionable home run calls over the past two games, suffering the effects of a three-run homer in his last start of June against the Cleveland Guardians that had many wondering exactly how Jhonkensy Noel’s line drive could have been ruled a round-tripper.

A Royals team that entered the season with so much hope and promise is certainly living up to the hype, staying within reach of a Wild Card spot after finishing 2023 with a 56-106 record.

However, even in a season when things seem to be clicking for the Royals, some bad luck (and arguably bad calls) is something that even one of their lead pitchers is having to overcome.

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“There are guys that are in wherever, I think it’s in New York, with the replay center that that’s their job,” Ragans said. “It’s out of my hands. Nothing I can do about it. I just have to move on and keep executing my game plan.”

With the Royals starting a three-city, eight-game road trip that will take them up to the MLB All-Star Game break, starting off on a sour note isn’t the ideal way to kick off the journey. However, it’s now about how Kansas City (and Ragans) respond the next time they take the field.

“It’s huge,” Bobby Witt Jr. said of the magnitude of how Kansas City responds to the final two games in Denver after Friday’s gut-punch. “It just kind of sucks for Cole in the last two starts he has two balls that we don’t think are home runs that are home runs. That happened again today, so that was unfortunate.”