Rockies 8, Padres 6 (12 innings - boxscore)
I'm almost a little rusty when it comes to talking positive about the Rockies, but I must say tonight was one of the most enjoyable complete game experiences of the season. It was really was a fun, competitive game, that saw both teams coming up with the timely hits and spectacular defensive plays to literally keep their teams alive.
And we're happy to report that when all was said and done, it was the Rockies who prevailed, thanks in large part to the man our resident Rockies nickname-giver Brian Smith quickly anointed #Paycheck.
Winning Player: Jordan Pacheco (3-for-6, career-high 4 RBIs, game-winning hit)
I couldn't think of a more spot on nickname for Pacheco, who continues to cash in on his extended opportunity to start games at the hot corner. Obviously, Pacheco can flat out hit. He's also an improving defender, though there's still a long way to go before we'll feel 100% comfortable over there. But it's clear he's willing to work hard at it, and it's more clear he's going to carve out a nice little career for himself regardless of where or how much he plays.
Another good hitter, Michael Cuddyer, also had a big night at the plate, tying a career-high with four hits. He scored the winning run on Pacheco's 12th inning single. Ramon Hernandez then followed with his own RBI single to make it 8-6.
Turning Point: All of those heroics wouldn't have been possible without one incredible play by right fielder Tyler Colvin. With runners on 1st and 2nd in the 9th and only one out, Mark Kotsay pulled one towards the right field line that seemed destined to fall for a game-winning double. However, Colvin was able to run it down (showing the advantage the Rockies have with a Gonzalez-Fowler-Colvin outfield) and made an incredible diving catch to save the game.
And thanks to the overly aggressive baserunning of Everth Cabrera, it turned into an inning-ending double play.
It was awesome. Like, really awesome.
Highlight of the Night
Jeff Francis' Line: 5 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 80 pitches (54 strikes)
It's been awhile since Jeff Francis didn't look sharp in an outing. In fact, you'd have to go all the way back to his return start against the Los Angeles Angels to find it. So I'll just chalk up Saturday to him being due for a stinker.
Bullpen's Line: 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 5 K, Win (Carlos Torres), Save (Rafael Betancourt)
Torres, Betancourt, Adam Ottavino and Rex Brothers were all solid. The only reliever to struggle was Matt Belisle, but he was also the only reliever to throw two full innings.
What's Next: The Rockies and Padres will not top this game on Sunday at 2:05. I'd be almost willing to wager my entire life savings on that. But I'm sure I'll be tuning in anyway to see Christian Friedrich (5-7, 5.85) battle it out with Ross Ohlendorf (3-0, 5.87).