The highlights are numerous. The laudatory remarks are endless. The surprise won’t go away anytime soon. The joy is just enough is keep us on the hook as the baseball season wears on into the long days of summer.
The Colorado Rockies entered AT&T Park on Friday night with the lowest moments of 2014 thus far still fresh in their memory. That certainly did not bode well for a series against the San Francisco Giants, the best team in the National League, in a park where the Rockies simply never win.
Over the course of these three games, the Rockies did to the Giants what the Giants normally do to their opponents. They won games that they had no business winning.
Twice they came back in the 9th inning. Whether you think Sergio Romo is a good closer or you think he kind of stinks (raising my hand right now), that is not something we ever expect from the Rockies. A one run deficit feels like a 10 run deficit, or so the cliche goes when it comes to playing baseball in San Francisco. If you have labored through your team losing close games in that park, you know just how real that cliche feels. A one run lead in the late innings truly feels insurmountable on most nights.
Twice the Rockies handed the game to the bullpen before the 5th inning. On one night it was an injury (Jorge De La Rosa‘s back) and on Sunday it was ineffectiveness (oh hey, Juan Nicasio). In one case the bullpen pitched admirably (Friday). In the other they he got battered around a bit, as Franklin Morales made AT&T Park look like a bandbox. Either way, a short outing from your starter is no recipe for success when you are playing a good team on the road. The Rockies won anyway.
On one night, the Rockies trotted out a starting lineup with a majority of players who started the season with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. That same lineup was without Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Cuddyer, and Nolan Arenado. If you had told me before the season that the Rockies would win a game in San Francisco without all of those guys, I would have told you to get out of my face.
All three games the Rockies came from behind, in a park where opposing teams simply don’t mount dramatic comebacks.
These wins didn’t make sense. But darn it if they didn’t embody the beauty of the game of baseball, because strange things happened. And darn it if they didn’t inject some life into a challenging Rockies’ season that felt dead one week ago.
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