The moment the Colorado Rockies blew an early five run lead, on the road, against the first place Atlanta Braves, hyperbole was guaranteed.
This was either going to be one of the best wins of the season or one of the worst losses of the season. So it was, when Dan Uggla lumbered around third to score on Andrelton Simmons‘s walk-off double, that this became one of the worst losses of the season.
Wins on this road trip are solid gold. Most of the games are on the road against elite competition (the Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates).
Wins on this road trip might be scarce. That fact created the excitement when the Rockies jumped out to that lead, and that fact created panic when Nolan Arenado booted a ground ball with the bases loaded in the third inning. Jorge De La Rosa and the rest of the team derailed, and the game turned into an exciting back and forth affair.
Said back and forth affair contained some darn good baseball on both sides. For the Rockies’ part, the highlights included a 9th inning rally to tie the game against not-the-Braves closer Jordan Walden some good patch work from the bullpen. In that 9th inning, Dexter Fowler walked, DJ LeMahieu singled, and then Carlos Gonzalez delivered the clutch RBI single.
After that inning ended with a bases loaded line-out from Todd Helton, Matt Belisle came up huge by blanking the Braves in the bottom of the 9th inning. That set the stage for another missed opportunity in the top of the 10th inning, which might have been the moment that knocked the wind out of the Rockies’ sails. After Wilin Rosario was stranded on third, Edgmer Escalona entered the game. One walk and one double later, and the game was done.
Let the narrative crafting begin. And rightfully so, by the way. This road trip matters. If the Rockies are indeed mediocre, then they will predictably fall against quality teams on the road. If they are more than that, they will surprise us by stringing together some wins. That context guaranteed hyperbole on this night: it would either be one of the best wins or one of the worst losses of the entire season.
And so, when the Rockies lost 9-8 to the Atlanta Braves Monday night, it was one of the worst losses of the 2013 season.