Rockies 9, Padres 8 – An awful end to a riveting game, really — one that I was listening in on the radio during my dinner break in the car, and watching it at work and at home while actually eating. Matt Holliday goes from goat for misplaying the fly ball that scored the tying run that sent it to extra innings, and saves Jorge Julio from being more of one after he did his best Jose Mesa impression in the top of the 13th.
Both Jake Peavy and Josh Fogg gave up their share of runs, so it became a bullpen attrition contest as both teams started teeing off. Adrian Gonzalez took a ball out for a grand slam in the third inning to give the Fathers the lead for the first time, as the Rockies had jumped out to 3-0 early. Todd Helton homered right back in the bottom of the inning, and Holliday hit an RBI single to tie in the fifth. The Rockies gained another run despite Garrett Atkins being robbed of a homer, and Giles drove in the tying run, as mentioned before, on a Holliday miscue.
Each bullpen got itself out of sticky situations in the 10th, 11th, and 12th with good play by the defenses. Scott Hairston nailed Julio’s ass to the wall in the top of the 13th with a two run jack, and Ramon Ortiz came in to take over, closing out the rest.
I thought it was over when I saw Trevor Hoffman warming up. Luckily, I think I was the only one who believed that. Kaz Matsui and Troy Tulowitzki hit back to back doubles, Holliday tripled in Tulowitzki, and the score was tied again — when Jamey Carroll smacked a line-out to Giles, who threw for the plate, and Michael Barrett missed the first tag on Holliday, and didn’t go after him again, for whatever reason. It looked like the home plate ump missed the call entirely — an anti-climactic and controversial way to end an otherwise spectacular game, but a great way to cap an MVP-quality season for Holliday, who wound up with both the RBI and batting average titles (but honestly, that hardware ought to go to Jimmy Rollins or something’s wrong with the voting.)
Congrats and good luck to the Rockies — they’ll need it; heading to Philadelphia. From the cellar to the stars in merely half a season. That’s something to be proud of. And looking back, I’ve called this team “lame”, their management idiotic, and various other pejoratives after having to watch them finish in the cellar for the better part of a decade. I’m sure I owe the players and Clint Hurdle an apology — I’m sorry.
(Fuck you, Dan O’Dowd, and same to you, Monforts: you get absolutely no quarter on this.)
Photo: AP/Will Powers