Rockies 11, Padres 10 (boxscore)
As well played as the first two games were, this one was every bit as ugly. And I'm not just talking about from a pitching standpoint. It was sloppy baseball in general, and that made it quite a chore to sit through despite the offensive fireworks and positive result.
Winning Player: Chris Nelson
Nelly only had one of the Rockies 11 hits, but it was the biggest in the game. It came in the 7th with Colorado trailing 9-7. Tyler Colvin had just sacrificed the tying runs into scoring position (because Jim Tracy is a genius or something), and Nelson said screw that, skip, I'm here to win. So he launched a three-run homer to straight away center to recapture the lead.
Honorable Mentions: Dexter Fowler (three hits, two RBIs) and Jordan Pacheco (two hits, two RBIs and two runs)
Turning Point: The Rockies had two big innings offensively, and need every bit of both to pull out this win. Of course one of those was the 7th thanks to Nelson's home run. The other was a seven-run 3rd in which they scored six more two-out runs. I swear they've doubled their season total of two-out runs in the last two days alone. And it's no surprise at all that they have won both of those games.
Jeff Francis' Line: 3 2/3 IP, 6 R (5 ER), 10 H, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 80 pitches (55 strikes)
This looked a lot like his return start back on June 9. The Angels peppered him for 10 hits (all singles) in 3 1/3. Today, San Diego threw a home run and a double in there, but it was mostly Francis getting peppered by singles, and he also didn't get much help from his defense. Indecisiveness, sloppy technique, and missed cutoff men were abound, and each 90 feet allowed proved to be costly in one way or another.
Highlight of the Afternoon: Nelson didn't just do it with bat on Sunday, he also did it with the leather.
What's Next: Very quick turn around for the Rockies as they travel cross country to Atlanta for a Labor Day afternoon game (1:10 first pitch in Atlanta - 11:10 in Denver). Tyler Chatwood (4-3, 4.81) will make that start for Jim Tracy. The white hot since moving into the rotation Kris Medlen (6-1, 1.71) will go for Atlanta.
Final Thoughts: According to Troy Renck and other sources, Troy Tulowitzki did not suffer any type of setback this afternoon. He's simply working his way back very slowly from a groin injury that required surgery in June, which is understandable considering the uniqueness and severity of the injury. Of course some people can't quite comprehend what he's going through in his recovery, so at the suggestion Sunday afternoon that Tulo had suffered a setback (Sky Sox manager Stu Cole simply stated the obvious - he's not yet 100%) the vultures went into attack mode on Twitter.
It's sad (actually pathetic) how quick people are to bash Tulo. They couldn't even wait five minutes to get decent information before unleashing with sarcastic tweets about his health and toughness. But that's their right. I'm not saying they have to like him, because they don't. If they prefer to be ignorant and misinformed, that's also within their rights. Just know it's within my rights to backhand them in my blog and say they represent the very worst of baseball fans (they aren't all Rockies fans, but most are, sadly). Because they do.