Ah, the other side of a walk-off. When it is your team doing the “walking” you feel the elation of having earned a win in the most dramatic fashion.
The other dugout holds the antithesis of excitement.
The Rockies entered Friday nights game against the Phillies looking to put runs on the board. After two straight 1-0 shutout’s it was time to let the bats do their work. It would be difficult against Cliff Lee, but the first inning elicited two runs and even CarGo was getting hits, so optimism was on deck.
Especially with the work of Jeff Francis.
Francis kept the Phillies in check through 5 2/3’rds of no-run ball. He left having struck out seven and only walking one.
After the first inning, where the Rockies scored two on an RBI double by CarGo and RBI single by Rosario, Lee settled down and also struck out seven over 6 1/3rd and left without relinquishing another run.
The bullpens took over and if Josh Roenicke had been able to make his pitches with two outs and bases loaded the Rockies might have held the lead. But Roenicke, the third pitcher of the inning after Torres allowed two singles and Reynolds walked the third baserunner, wasn’t able to get out of the inning and pinch hitter Lance Nix doubled to right to score two and tie up the game.
Papelbon came into the game in the ninth to try and hold the score at 2-2, and after walking Giambi on an excellent 10 pitch at-bat from the Giambino, it looked like the Rockies might be putting something together.
But pinch runner Andrew Brown was put into motion in what appeared to be a hit-n-run situation and was thrown out at second, effectively extinguishing the rally. Charlie Blackmon, who was 4-4 last night against the Braves and extended his streak to five straight after a single in the seventh, popped out harmlessly to end the assault.
Hindsight, or perhaps logic proved that Andrew Brown was not the right tandem for the “run” half of hit-n-run. Why it was called is anyone’s guess, but DJ was glad he had the chance:
I appreciated [Tracy’s] confidence in me to do that, and I was excited to get that call. I just missed it.
The difference between a walk-off and extra innings seemed to lie in the Ying to Rosario’s Yang. His monster ability to crush balls to the farthest seats can usually make up for his less-than stellar work behind the dish. Belisle walked Rollins and then intentionally walked Will Harris after Rollins was moved to second on a sacrifice. With one out, and runners at first and second, it was possible Belisle could induce a double play to get out of the inning. But a wild pitch (that could have been stopped by Wilin) allowed the runners to move up and with the infield pulled in a shot through the right side ended it all.