It’s always fun when the Rockies get to face a former teammate, especially one that left under the banner of shame. You want that guy to be awful, so that the Rockies look good for letting him go, like they’re better off without him. Today, that sacrificial lamb was Manuel Corpas.
Despite the fact that I was glad when the Rockies parted ways with Corpas, I don’t wish him ill. He was instrumental to the 2007 playoff run, and the further we get from that, the clearer it becomes to me just how many pieces had to fall into place for that to happen. We Rockies fans have gotten a little cocky about our “second-half runs” in the aftermath of that and 2009, but do you realize just how different things were in those seasons, and just how far we are from that in our current state? Anyway, if not for Manny, 2007 might not have happened, and I thank him for that. Still, when he played his last game with the Rockies, two years ago today, I was relieved.
Following his release, Corpas signed a minor league contract with the Rangers, but then missed all of 2011 for Tommy John. Considering his poor track record prior to that surgery, I didn’t think we’d be seeing much of him in the future. And then, surprise! He popped up on the Cubs’ roster this year. And today, he popped up in the 6th inning at Wrigley.
The first 4 innings were not looking good for the Rockies. Alex White started out well enough, allowing a few hits but no runs through 3, and then in the 4th he gave up 3 runs. One of those was unearned because it scored when Chris Nelson did that thing he does where he looks like he has the ball at 3rd base and then oh wait just kidding actually he doesn’t. The other two, however, were very much earned when White threw that belt-high splitter he throws and Brett Jackson took him deep. In the meantime, the Rockies were stranding runners right and left, and when they do that I feel like I can always hear the drumbeats of doom.
Still, in the 5th they started to make a comeback. Jonathan Herrera led off with a single and was followed up by the almighty Josh Rutledge hitting his 7th home run of the year. Of course, that was followed by a walk and a double play, and naturally the Rockies were done scoring in that inning. Then the 6th rolled around, and our old friend Manny took his place on the hill. Andrew Brown, who has never played on the same team as Corpas, thought that might be a good moment to hit his first career home run, and he did. Tie game, and a blown save for Manny.
After that, on the shoulders of a brilliant long relief appearance by Carlos Torres, the Rockies had only to score one more run to pull ahead and win the game. This they did, putting runners on the corners with 1 out in the 7th, which was enough for Dale Sveum to yank Manny. When Alex Hinshaw replaced him, Carlos Gonzalez came to the plate and hit an RBI groundout, which was okay because a run scored is a run scored.
That would be the final run of the game, and ultimately the winning run. It’s always nice to see an old friend, especially when he does such nice things for you.