The game between the Rockies and Dodgers started and ended in dramatic fashion. In the first, Chuck_Nazty grounded a single up the middle and Deej followed with a bunt that rolled on the 1B foul line which stayed there. CarGo then hit a chopper over Brett Anderson that ended up in no man’s land to get the bases juiced. NoDo stepped to the plate trying to keep the ball off the ground against the ground ball specialist. He did more than that sending the ball into the rock garden with a grand slam to help the Rockies jump out to a 4-0 lead.
Kyle Kendrick then did his best to maintain his reputation as a batting practice pitcher. In the top of the second, Ethier drilled an easy straight-as-an-arrow fastball into the second deck following a walk to Justin Turner. That cut Colorado’s lead in half, 4-2.
The Rockies got a run back in the bottom of the second on Chuck_Nazty’s triple and Deej’s RBI single. They tacked another run on back-to-back doubles by Corey Dickerson and Justin Morneau to increase the lead to 6-2.
The Dodgers had A.J. Ellis (double) on second base with two outs in the top of the fifth when the pitcher’s spot came up. Don Mattingly trying to play catch up removed Anderson in favor of pinch hitter Alex Guerrero. Deej nearly made a circus catch on Guerrero’s bloop, but it fell and the score was 6-3. The vaunted Dodger bullpen took over and held the Rockies at bay.
Meanwhile, with Kendrick continuing to pitch batting practice, the Dodgers had a triple, single, and a double on just four pitches to chase Kendrick in the sixth. Brooks Brown came in and let in a game tying run before shutting down the Dodgers. Rex Brothers pitched the seventh with the score even at 6-6. Was manager Walt Weiss trying to get himself fired for putting in Brothers? Another gaffe manipulating the bullpen. Fortunately, he didn’t give up a run nor did he walk a guy allowing just a single. Gonzalez Germen, not the most ideal eighth inning pitcher had a clean inning to keep the game tied. Justin Miller struck out two in a clean top of ninth.
Deej decided to swing at the first offering by Yimi Garcia and hit a hard ground ball up the middle. That set the stage for a dramatic finish. For some reason, Dodger manager Don Mattingly did not bring in southpaw Jay Howell to face CarGo. On a 3-1 pitch, CarGo blasted a walk off to straightaway center field to win the game 8-6. It was CarGo’s second HR in two career ABs against Garcia and it was the second walk off HR of his career. No doubt you all remember his first walk off – that HR to complete the cycle off lefty Sean Marshall of the Cubs.
NoDo’s home run was his fortieth of the season and CarGo’s was his 39th of the season. Bryce Harper leads the NL with 41 dingers. NoDo is the first Rocky to hit 40 HRs in a season in the humidor era. NoDo now has 121 RBIs to lead the National League. NoDo is on the fringes of the MVP discussion, but the voters who do not do their homework will not even think of him due to Colorado’s record. The fact is that NoDo has more HRs and RBIs on the road than at home. And throw in the Gold Glove on his resume. He could lead the NL in two of the three Triple Crown categories by the end of the season. Harper and Paul Goldschmidt are the leading the MVP conversation and they don’t even sniff the playoffs as well.
With the win tonight, Colorado tied the club record for lowest number of wins at Coors Field. After watching Pittsburgh have a party in their own house to celebrate clinching the post season birth, the Rockies were in no mood to watch another party tonight. Los Angeles was trying to clinch the West division but with San Francisco’s victory tonight, the Dodgers will have to wait at least another day, hopefully not tomorrow in our house.
If there is a positive reason to keep Weiss around for next year, it is that the Rockies refuse to quit under him. My suggestion, fire Tom Runnels and demote Weiss to bench coach. Tomorrow is the final home game of the season and it is likely CarGo’s last game as a Rocky playing in Coors Field. Same probably goes for Morneau who has been fantastic since coming off the disabled list.