Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Road To 100 Hits Dead End

Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 4 (13 innings) (boxscore)

It's over. Our season long regional nightmare is all over.

Five years to the day they defeated the San Diego Padres 9-8 in 13 innings to win the National League Wild Card, the Colorado Rockies won another clincher in 13 innings with the 7-4 win over the Diamondbacks. OK, yeah, so this win was just a little bit less significant in the grand scheme, but it was still meaningful as they officially avoided to century mark in the loss column.


RIP: Road to 100.

Winning Players: Chris Nelson & Charlie Blackmon

The Rockies had 13 hits in 13 innings. Seven of those belonged to Chris Nelson & Charlie Blackmon.

I think Nelson deserves top billing because he's the one who delivered to go-ahead RBI single in the 13th. That capped a night where Nelson was seeing the ball very well and had a number of good swings, including a couple drives that had home run distance but ended up just foul. Either of those staying fair would have changed the game a lot sooner.

Then again, it was Blackmon who had four hits, including the single that made it 5-3. That would actually ended up being the winning run, so you could make an argument for either.

It's kinda like the Miguel Cabrera-Mike Trout debate for the AL MVP, only not even close.

Turning Point: Josh Rutledge had a really rough four-strikeout game, but he's also a big reason the Rockies stayed alive. His two-out RBI double (scoring Blackmon) in the 8th tied the game. Tyler Colvin followed with his own RBI double, so things looked pretty good at that moment. Of course that was only temporary.

Drew Pomeranz's Line: 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 80 pitches (51 strikes)

All things considered during this mostly uninspiring season for Drew Pomeranz, this was a positive note to go out on. Sure, he allowed a couple homers (both solo) and threw in a couple walks, but he stayed on track and never allowed any particular inning to escalate or become a potential disaster. That may not sound like much of achievement to my newer readers, but if you've been reading these recaps all season and looking at the pitching lines, you know how difficult that has been for Pomeranz and this entire staff.

It's a nice ending, but it's really only the beginning as Pomeranz enters this important offseason. Because of this season's results and stunted development, next year almost has to be two steps forward just to get where the Rockies wanted and needed Pomeranz by the end of this season, and maybe three steps forward to reach his potential. I'll settle for one step, as long as it's not another one sideways or backwards.

Bullpen's Line: 8 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 8 K

Adam Ottavino and Matt Belisle combined for three perfect innings to get the ball in Rafael Betancourt's right hand. It could not have set up any better... right up until Paul Goldschmidt delivered Arizona's third solo homer to tie at three.

Hey, you never expected it to be easy, did you?

From there, Rex Brothers and Edgmer Escalona were solid. When the Rockies grabbed the lead, though, Josh Outman decided he wanted to make it interesting (or maybe he's just awful) by walking two and uncorking a wild pitch. I mean seriously, four run lead handed to you. Throw strikes, maybe?

Thankfully, Josh Roenicke's arm grew back just enough to get the final two outs for the save. I guess in a way he's the Ramon Ortiz of 2012 because he stopped the bleeding and allowed good things to happen in the 13th. That makes him a real unsung hero in my eyes.

Highlight of the Night: I didn't wake up the neighbors like I did on 10-1-07, but I definitely gestured skyward.

What's Next: Sit back, relax, watch a meaningless baseball game without any stress. Jhoulys Chacin (3-5, 4.78) vs. Patrick Corbin (6-8, 4.77). First pitch is slated for 7:40 again.

PS: I wonder how disappointed the folks at ROOT Sports are about the Rockies win? The Road to 100 had to be a decent ratings grabber for them, and now it'll only be the diehards tuning in on Tuesday.

Final Thoughts: If you're a Rockies fan on Twitter and you weren't following @chrischrisman Monday night, you missed out on reliving some great memories from that game five years ago. Here's a sample:

Josh Outman, Jorge Julio. Jorge Julio, Josh Outman.

What a night that was, though.

Now go start following Chris and relive the entire night with a guy was who in the building.

More Rockies thoughts await you if you follow me on Twitter: @Townie813 & @HeavenHelton