Sunday afternoon The Colorado Rockies beat the Cinninati Reds by a score of 7-4. Tyler Chatwood left the game with an injury, Nolan Arenado and Michael Cuddyer each homered, and Cuddy also drove in three runs. Arenado also made some really special plays defensively that he made look easy and the bullpen ate a ton of innings: 4.1 between Josh Outman and Adam Ottavino. Jordan Pacheco had his second pinch hit in as many days. It was a pretty good day to be a Rockies fan.
But none of it mattered, not one bit. All that mattered was Todd Helton. In his 17th season, all of with the Rockies, Helton collected hit number 2,500 in the bottom of the seventh inning. The “Toddfather” hit second in the inning after the Cuddy solo-homer. Helton had been hitless in his last seven at-bats, including five strikeouts. It was a prototypical Helton at-bat. The former Tennessee Volunteer fouled off three pitches and worked the count full before driving a fastball on the outside to the opposite field down the left field line. To top it off his 40-year-old legs were able to get him under the second baseman’s tag on a good throw back from the outfield.
Todd Lynn Helton became the 96th player in Major League history to compile 2,500 hits. It was poetic justice that the hit was a double, as it was Helton’s 584th career double to move past Robin Yount for sole possession of the 17th most doubles all-time.
That moment alone was enough to say it was a great night at Coors Field. But the Rockies did win a ballgame too. The Rockies won their third series in a row, and finished the month with their best winning percentage since April. Although they were still one game under .500, the teams 1-9 road trip ended on the 8th of August, making it an uphill battle just to finish as well as they did.
On a more sobering topic, Tyler Chatwood did only pitch two innings before being pulled for what was called a bruised right thumb by the Rockies. Chatwood instinctively reached for a ball that only got a piece of, it would turn out the ball got more of him than he got of the ball. With just 25 games left in the season the question arises on whether or not to shut down Chatwood for the rest of the year. Is it needed? Definitely not if it is just a bruise, but what if the upsides are somewhere between small and non-existent?
Just about the only things the Rockies can look forward to for the rest of the season are playing spoiler, and Helton moving into 16th place on that doubles list with just two more before the season ends. Playoff fallout from the series was minimal, as Cincinnati failed to make up any ground and stayed 3.5 games behind the Pirates and Cardinals who are tied and fighting for the division title. The Rockies were not necessarily playing spoiler this series, but it looks like the team will not stop playing hard. All you need to do is watch Helton’s 2,500th hit, tell me that 40-year-old isn’t playing hard while 17 games out of first place.