Chad Bettis has been in the headlines plenty in recent days as the Colorado Rockies starter dazzled in his return game after battling cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. Today, as part of our tournament comprising the 32 greatest moments in Rockies franchise history, we are looking back at one of the best games thrown by Bettis. It is one of the reasons why the Rockies are so happy to have him back in the rotation.
Last season, coming off an August where the 28-year-old right-hander had posted a 5.19 ERA in five starts and his team had fallen out of the playoff race, perhaps few were expecting to see one of the most impressive pitching performances in Rockies history when Bettis took the mound on Labor Day at Coors Field. However, that is exactly what the 26,574 fans who entered Coors Field to watch the Rockies battle the San Francisco Giants saw that day.
Bettis needed just 103 pitches to spin a nine-inning complete game where he blanked the Giants and allowed just two hits in a 6-0 Rockies victory. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter as he recorded the first complete game of Colorado’s 2016 campaign and did it in just two hours and 24 minutes.
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The Rockies scored all of their runs in the third inning, highlighted by a Carlos Gonzalez grand slam off Giants starter Matt Moore. With a comfortable lead, Bettis took a perfect game into the fifth before recording the first two-hit shutout for the Rockies since Jason Marquis turned the trick against the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 30, 2009.
Part of the success for Bettis came in his ability to force San Francisco into groundouts. When the Giants put the ball into play, just two of the 17 outs came through the air. San Francisco didn’t hit a ball out of infield until the fourth inning when Denard Span flied out to left.
In our tournament, this great performance earned the seven seed in the Nolan Arenado bracket. It’s going up against another great performance against the Giants, this one from earlier this season when Arenado hit for the cycle (including a walkoff grand slam) at Coors Field. Which is the most worthy moment? Follow us on Twitter (@RoxPileFS) and let your voice be heard!