In both games, Colorado rallied for victories with the help of LoDo Magic and #rallyguy. It was a special day as Todd Helton’s number 17 was retired on the 17th day of August after a 17-year career. The best line of the day was delivered by his daughter Tierney Faith, who asked the fans, “Who wants him back?” Brad Hawpe and Matt Belisle delivered brief speeches about Helton and his career. The normally stoic guy with the grizzly beard was very jovial and since his walkoff against Los Angeles pitcher Saito to complete the doubleheader sweep in 2007. Both Montfort brothers presented the boutiques to his family and unveiled their gifts to Helton. The limited lot of commemorative bats personally signed by Helton were on sale throughout the weekend for $316 each. The bobbleheads were given out on Friday and Sunday. Helton souvenir shirts were given out on Saturday for the fans who showed up before the water pipe break on Blake Street postponed the game to Sunday as part of day/night split doubleheader.
The Helton discussion now centers on whether he should be in Hall of Fame or not. He already had one vote in his pocket by Hall of Fame Sportswriter Tracy “Cowboy” Ringolsby. The argument against him was the usual “Coors Field effect”. The wise old “Cowboy” knows differently which he provided the statistics as follows:
As dominant as he was at Coors Field, Helton outplayed the bulk of Hall of Famers on the road.
There are 116 position players in the Hall of Fame who had at least 4,000 plate appearances since 1912, which is how far back the home-road splits extend for Stats Inc. Among those 116 position players:
• Helton’s .287 road batting average is higher than 45.
• Helton’s .386 road on-base percentage is higher than 84.
• Helton’s .469 road slugging percentage is higher than 74.
• And Helton’s .855 road OPS is higher than 78.
And Helton even ranks well among the smaller group of 21 Hall of Fame first basemen who have had at least 4,000 plate appearances since 1912.
Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Orlando Cepeda, Lou Gehrig, Billy Terry and Jimmie Foxx are the only ones who are ahead of Helton on the road in average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.
Helton has higher numbers in all four categories than Ernie Banks, Jim Bottomley and Tony Perez.
He has a higher road on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS than Rod Carew and George Kelly.
And a higher on-base percentage, average and OPS than Harmon Killebrew, Willie McCovey and Eddie Murray.
After the pre-game ceremony was completed, Colorado went off to a quick start taking a 3-0 lead despite a 20-minute rain delay with the Rockies still batting in the bottom of first inning. Jordan Lyles was on cruise control through three innings before he hit some rough patches. Cincinnati took a 5-3 lead after five innings against Lyles. Franklin Morales, back from assisting his wife deliver a baby, gave up a solo shot to Kris Negron and an additional run to put Colorado in a 7-3 hole. They narrowed the deficit to 7-5 on Cory Dickerson’s appropriately 17th homer of the season and Josh Rutledge’s sacrifice fly.
Juan Nicasio who has pitched well out of the bullpen since his callup went 1-2-3 in the eighth inning. Then Rex Brothers did his obligation to give the Reds two runs in the ninth inning to seemingly put the game out of reach with Aroldis Chapman and his blazing 100-mph fastballs coming in the bottom of the ninth inning. Not so fast yelled by the #rallyguy somewhere in the upper deck in which he could be heard by the entire stadium since the crowd got very silent. So the LoDo Magic and the effect of #17 was back in action. Chapman did everyone a favor by walking all four batters he faced before leaving the game with a possible shoulder injury. J.J. Hoover got the next two batters on a sac fly and a lineout. Drew Stubbs came up to the plate with the score 9-7 and two on. Boom. Unfortunately, Brothers gets the win when Nicasio deserves it. Time to flip the RWO walkoff counter to five after the Rockies’ 10-9 walkoff win.
Yohan Flande did his usual work giving up four runs over 5.1 innings, three of them in the sixth inning before being replaced by Brooks Brown. The Reds took a 5-2 lead when the sparse crowd played the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at 7th-inning stretch time. The #rallyguy was repeatedly shown on TV doing his Rockies rally cheers. Finally they woke up and scored three runs in the 7th to tie the game and broke out in the 8th inning with five runs to put the game away. Michael Cuddyer showed why he earns big money by hitting for cycle in the game. He had a triple that got past a diving Jay Bruce early in the game. He helped rally the Rockies in the final three team at-bats. He launched a homer that nearly reached the concourse in left field in the sixth inning. He lined a single up the middle as part of the three-run seventh inning rally aided by third baseman Ramon Santiago’s error attempting to complete the double play with the bases loaded. He was an embarrassment trying to be Nolan Arenado by grabbing a grounder and stepping on third base before throwing across the diamond to first. The ball ended up in right field and that tied up the game at 5-5. Cuddyer was back in the office with a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning to put the game away. LaTroy Hawkins did his usual quick pitching work throwing only eight pitches to give Adam Ottavino his first victory of the season.