Where to begin?
On a night that included more than one “wow” moment, it is difficult to really capture what a wild ride Friday at Coors turned out to be.
It started out like a normal game, nothing special. Pomeranz took the mound at 6:40 and started his night against the New York Mets. What wasn’t know at the beginning was that he already felt the tightness that would pull him from the game after the fourth inning.
It was a little tightness. Not serious pain. It was something I felt I should be honest and tell them about it. I felt it in warmups…I will see how it feels tomorrow.
Why a pitcher feels it is more important to “work through” pain, rather than play it safe and tell the coaches right away, is baffling. It isn’t knowing if this will push his next start back or not, but it did cut his evening short, making room for Esmil Rogers.
Rogers came into the game in the fifth. Ah, the fifth inning. THE inning that will be remembered for quite a while. Esmil was just coming off a strong inning of relief against the Pirates, where he struck out the side, and he seemed like he would be effective after the first batter knocked a single to left. He struck out the next two batters and had Scott Hairston quickly on a 0-2 count. With one swing the game changed from routine to insane and this was the turning point of everything that would follow. Hairston hit a deep shot to center, just over Dexter Fowler’s head, causing Fowler to crash awkwardly into the wall.
Ah Fowler, you had to feel sorry for the guy that on the night he was being honored with his own t-shirt give-a-way, he was dropped to 8th in the lineup, has an error on the very first play of the game, lines out in his first at bat and he just missed catching a ball that would have kept the game tied at 2-2. He would eventually make up for it all, but more on that later.
So, the ball goes off the wall and Scott Hairston heads to third with the most difficult piece of the cycle tucked nicely in his back pocket. He would get the final piece, the double, in his next at bat.
By the time the top of the fifth was over Rogers had given up four runs on six hits. The score at that point was 6-2, and it seemed like it would be a long, frustrating game, if the past was any indication. In times like these the team would usually go cold, letting the beating of an inning coax the white flag of lost cause at the plate.
But, not tonight.
It all began with Eric Young Jr. That magical fifth inning. EYj came up in the fifth and hit a soft comeback to Schwinden on the mound. A routine play hasn’t been introduced to EYj’s speed. Schwinden had all the time in the world to throw to first, that is if anyone other than the fastest man on the planet weren’t blazing his way to the bag. The throw was high, Lutz had to jump, and by the time he came down to tag EYj, EYj wasn’t to be had. The slide under the glove was close, close enough to bring Mets Manager Terry Collins out of the dugout to argue, for his first time of the night, but the safe call held.
So what happens when Eric Young Jr. gets on first? All together now: “he steals second”. And that is just what he tried to do, but the Mets weren’t satisfied in just giving him second as they committed the first of four errors in the inning. EYj advanced to third on the errant throw (see image above) and electricity was in the air.
Scutaro, who seemed to have already used up his hits for the night after getting his triple in the bottom of the first, was content with a walk.
Johnny Sparkplug then came up and laced a single to right, bringing home EYj and sending Scutaro to 2nd.
And then it was CarGo time.
On a 3-2 pitch CarGo took a 85 mph cutter to deep center and brought everyone to their feet. The three run shot was the fourth run of the fifth so far, and almost 1/2 of his RBI total for the inning when all was said and done.
After CarGo’s home run, and a pitching change, Tulo singled, Helton singled, Cuddyer walked and Ramon Hernandez brought Tulo home on a force out at third. This was only the first out of the inning and already five had crossed home plate.
With Cuddy on second, and Hernandez on first, Dex stepped up to the plate. Dex imitated CarGo like attitude, crushing a slider to right and then flipping his bat, before rounding the bases. His frustrations of the day, and possibly the whole season so far, erased as he was greeted at home.
Then, the man who started it all, EYj came up for his second at bat. He worked a walk to take first. Scutaro came up and singled to center. Herrera was hit by a pitch and Terry Collins came out for the second time in the inning to argue the call.
After Collins returned to the dugout empty handed, it was, once again, CarGo time. With the bases juiced CarGo laced the first pitch he saw to right field, bringing everyone home with nothing but a single. He reached second on a throwing error.
The inning came to an end with Tulo flying out and Helton grounding out and once the dust settled the fifth inning highlights were staggering:
- CarGo set a franchise record with 5 RBI’s
- 11 runs scored (2nd most runs every in franchise history)
- 2 three-run home runs
- Scutaro, Herrera and EYj all scored twice
- The Mets committed four errors, tying their franchise record for most errors in a single inning (they had six errors total for the night)
You’d think that was enough excitement for one game, and that a 13-6 lead was safe, but then Josh Roenicke came into the game and proceeded to give back three in 2/3’s of an inning. Now the Mets were just a grand slam away from tying it up.
Speaking of grand slams…
The seventh inning saw the Rockies really stick the dagger in as Scutaro singled, Herrera reached on an interference call, Helton singled to bring home Scutaro and Cuddyer walked to load the bases. With the ducks on the pond Ramon Hernandez picked the perfect time to hit his fourth home run of the year, a grand slam shot over the right field scoreboard, and just like that the Rockies have 19. 19 runs from 19 hits.
- Scott Hairston hitting for the cycle wasn’t the only rare situation he was involved in. During the second inning he was hit by a batted-ball while running to second. He was called out for interference on the play, ending the inning.
- Jonathan Herrera was involved in several odd situations, including making it home from first on a bases loaded single which included a throwing error, getting hit in the leg on a disputed bunt and, strangest of all, swinging at a pitch-out and being awarded first on a catcher’s interference call as he hit Thole’s glove.
- Tulo hit a home run in the first, his third.
- Scutaro had four hits and extended his hitting streak to six games, which happens to be the longest of any Rockie this season.
- Guthrie injured his shoulder in a bicycle accident, prompting the team to put him on the DL. Moscoso will take his place in the starting rotation.
I’d like to thank Rox Addict for the images used above in this article. I found him through Marc Stout and he has been very cool about allowing me to use shots of games he is at. I know you will agree – his timing on these pictures is amazing! You should really check out his site for more incredible shots and write-ups from games and give him props. It is always great to meet other Rockies fans.