No Major League Baseball team will ever have to apologize for winning a game in which a little bit of luck was on their side. The reason? Because they still have to capitalize on the opportunities created by that luck. So when the shard of Carlos Gonzalez‘s bat flew towards Brewers’ first baseman Alex Gonzalez in the form of a semi-deadly weapon, it was lucky that what would have been a routine ground ball turned into an infield hit. It was then up to Troy Tulowitzki, late in a tie game, to capitalize on the opportunity. He delivered a sacrifice fly to give the Rockies the lead in what was eventually an 8-4 victory.
A team must also be in a position where a little good luck matters, and the Rockies were thanks to another set of home runs from Gonzalez and Tulowitzki.
CarGo after his home run. Image: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The other thing that happened in the key at-bats of the 7th inning was simple: the hitters put the ball in play. After Tulo’s RBI, Michael Cuddyer rolled a weak grounder approximately 70 feet that resulted in an infield hit. That was followed by a flare single from Todd Helton. Nobody is going to confuse this performance with the visions of the “Blake Street Bullies” that are dancing around in Dante Bichette‘s head, but it got the job done.
On the mound Jorge De La Rosa fought through 4.1 innings, allowing all 4 ER. The bullpen pitched a clean game the rest of the way, with Walt Weiss quick on the trigger with pitching changes. As we found last night and again tonight, that approach can be hit or miss and the backlash comes accordingly.
One final note: Ryan Braun hit one of the stupidest home runs I’ve ever seen tonight. It was well off the plate outside and at about his shins and he muscled it out to right field anyway. Just stupid. For the series finale tomorrow night, it would be wise of Juan Nicasio and the rest of the Colorado pitching staff to buckle down on Norichika Aoki and Rickie Weeks to minimize the potential damage Braun can inflict.