Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Rock Solid Recap: Road To 100 Hits Dead End

Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 4 (13 innings) (boxscore)

It's over. Our season long regional nightmare is all over.

Five years to the day they defeated the San Diego Padres 9-8 in 13 innings to win the National League Wild Card, the Colorado Rockies won another clincher in 13 innings with the 7-4 win over the Diamondbacks. OK, yeah, so this win was just a little bit less significant in the grand scheme, but it was still meaningful as they officially avoided to century mark in the loss column.


RIP: Road to 100.

Winning Players: Chris Nelson & Charlie Blackmon

The Rockies had 13 hits in 13 innings. Seven of those belonged to Chris Nelson & Charlie Blackmon.

I think Nelson deserves top billing because he's the one who delivered to go-ahead RBI single in the 13th. That capped a night where Nelson was seeing the ball very well and had a number of good swings, including a couple drives that had home run distance but ended up just foul. Either of those staying fair would have changed the game a lot sooner.

Then again, it was Blackmon who had four hits, including the single that made it 5-3. That would actually ended up being the winning run, so you could make an argument for either.

It's kinda like the Miguel Cabrera-Mike Trout debate for the AL MVP, only not even close.

Turning Point: Josh Rutledge had a really rough four-strikeout game, but he's also a big reason the Rockies stayed alive. His two-out RBI double (scoring Blackmon) in the 8th tied the game. Tyler Colvin followed with his own RBI double, so things looked pretty good at that moment. Of course that was only temporary.

Drew Pomeranz's Line: 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 80 pitches (51 strikes)

All things considered during this mostly uninspiring season for Drew Pomeranz, this was a positive note to go out on. Sure, he allowed a couple homers (both solo) and threw in a couple walks, but he stayed on track and never allowed any particular inning to escalate or become a potential disaster. That may not sound like much of achievement to my newer readers, but if you've been reading these recaps all season and looking at the pitching lines, you know how difficult that has been for Pomeranz and this entire staff.

It's a nice ending, but it's really only the beginning as Pomeranz enters this important offseason. Because of this season's results and stunted development, next year almost has to be two steps forward just to get where the Rockies wanted and needed Pomeranz by the end of this season, and maybe three steps forward to reach his potential. I'll settle for one step, as long as it's not another one sideways or backwards.