There has never in Colorado Rockies history been better missed opportunity than Saturday night’s 8-3 loss against the Cincinnati Reds. You got to be disappointed for the fans who purchased tickets just for the chance at seeing history, but that is where the sympathy stops.
On a night that Rockies great Todd Helton needed only one hit to meet 2,500 for his career, it is a good thing it did not happen. Juan Nicasio (8-6) faced former Rockies pitcher Greg Reynolds (0-2). Would you want the “Toddfather’s” historical moment tainted by a former Rockies 1st round draft pick who was drafted before Evan Longoria that ended up a bust? That is what I thought, perhaps his impeccable sense of timing could help the Hall of Fame voters overcome that whole mile high thing.
Reynolds was the second overall draft pick by the Rockies before not just Longoria, but also Clayton Kershaw (7th overall), Tim Lincecum (10th overall), and Max Scherzer (11th overall). By comparison you could not find a bigger bust in Beverly Hills. Reynolds appeared in 27 total games for Colorado in only the 2008 and 2011 seasons going 5-8 with a 7.47 ERA; for any fans keeping track that is just a hair worse than Kershaw’s career numbers (learn how to read sarcasm).
So naturally nobody was surprised when, in his 3rd game of the season, Reynolds went eight strong innings and gave up just three runs on a night that he had more than enough run support to win. The Rockies did not even plate a run until the fifth inning on a Jordan Pacheco pinch hit double, then in the eighth inning they would add a Corey Dickerson two-run home run when Reynolds was over 95 pitches. Reynolds held the Rockies 2-7 seven hitters to only two hits in 23 at-bats.
The Reds, however, are not far from having a 21st century version of the “Big Red Machine,” so their offense came easily. Not only were both Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips “on” Saturday night, but had hit #2,500 happened it would have been overshadowed by Phillips. The perennial All-Star second baseman was a single shy of hitting for the cycle. All of us day-to-day Rockies fans know that had Helton gotten the elusive hit, then so too would have Phillips collected the single needed for the cycle, just our luck. Hitting for the cycle is about as rare as a perfect game for a pitcher, so there is no doubt the national media would have grabbed a hold of a player in a playoff race accomplishing such a feat over a borderline Hall of Fame player’s compiled accomplishment.
Sunday Colorado and Cincinnati finish the series Sunday and it is another chance for the Toddfather to make history, and this time hopefully the rest of the Rockies will accommodate.