Coming into tonight’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Dexter Fowler had silenced all but the staunchest of critics. Since June 20th Fowler has been on a tear, hitting .390 (32-for-82) with 4 doubles, 3 triples, 3 home runs, 7 RBI, 12 runs and a 1.073 OPS (.451 OBP, .622 SLG).
You have to reach back to May 29th to find a matching pair to tonight’s walk-off win attached to his name.
Monday nights win was filled with gold glove defense, Cy Young type pitching and timely fifth inning hitting. Were it not for a shaky ninth after a 58-minute rain delay, Fowler wouldn’t have been needed at all.
The highlight reel is replete with amazing plays in the field from Monday. Some of the best:
- Dexter Fowler’s amazing catch at the wall in the top of the second to end the inning
- Jordan Pacheco’s diving catch and throw to first in the top of the third
- Jordan Pacheco’s even better backhanded stop and throw in the top of the sixth
Carlos Gonzalez almost made the top play of the night with a diving attempt on a Barmes line drive to left, one that bounced just shy of his glove. Almost as impressive as making the catch was CarGo snagging it, on a single hop, and rolling a couple of times before popping up and gunning it into the cutoff before Alverez could score from second. It was a CarGo hustle highlight that has been missing from his reel this season, and was a very welcomed sight.
Other excellent moments in fielding included Wilin gunning down Walker’s attempt at stealing second, and Jeff Francis picking off McCutchen in the fourth.
The fifth inning was good ol’ fashioned Rockies raking. Highlights of the inning included:
- Tyler Colvin walk
- Rosario single
- Rutledge clutch RBI single, scoring Colvin with Rosario advancing to third
- EYj’s CLUTCH double off the right field wall, scoring both Rutledge and Rosario. It should have been a triple, but EYj didn’t make the turn quite so gracefully, stumbling twice around first.
Who would have guessed coming out of spring training that, not only are the five starters on opening day nowhere to be found, but that the teams best starting pitcher would be one Jeff Francis? Especially after his disastrous first two starts as a reconditioned Rockie.
But Monday nights performance was nothing short of vintage Francis. Five innings, six scattered hits, one earned and one strike-out. He induced many a grounder while keeping the Bucks guessing and keep proving that for every 50 bad moves management has made this season, they sure made a great call in bringing him back.
If there was anything more impressive than Francis’ outing, it would come from one Josh Roenicke.
Roenicke was just about perfect in long relief, going three innings and only giving up one hit and a walk. He lowered his era to a very tidy 2.33, and made one believe the end of the game would be as uneventful, opponent scoreboard wise, as the beginning.
If only that were the case.
That the Rockies even needed a walk-off, after two of the most impressive outings by a starter and long reliever in quite some time, came down to a messy ninth by Betancourt and Brothers.
Betancourt entered the ninth and only lasted a third of an inning before being chased off the field by the tarp-crew. He left with two on and no hope of seeing it through to the end, looking anything but in control.
After the delay, Brothers was given the ball and one pitch later the score went from 4-1 to 4-4. Pedro Alvarez hit a not-so-bad pitch into the empty seats in left, and just like that the game was tied.
He cleaned up his own mess by getting Barmes to ground into a double play and the stage was set for Dexter’s walk-off sacrifice fly. Wilin Rosario started the ninth with a single, was moved over to third by a Giambi clutch single and Dex sent one deep enough to earn his moment of glory.