Colorado Rockies morning after: Giants bring out best in Rox again
By Kevin Henry
Maybe all the Colorado Rockies needed was a visit from their old friends, the San Francisco Giants, to pull them out of their offensive doldrums.
Colorado looked like the high-voltage offense of old on Tuesday night at Coors Field, getting the timely hits and even a long ball from Trevor Story, to post a 9-6 win over the boys from the Bay Area. It handed Colorado a series win against the Giants and was the ninth straight victory for the Rockies over San Francisco at 20th and Blake.
The Rockies are now 12-4 against the Giants this season. Their 12th win of the year against San Francisco on Tuesday night looked like many of their previous ones against the Giants earlier this season when Colorado looked like a team to beat in the National League. For the 24,245 fans who showed up, it was nice to see a flashback to May and early June as the weather felt very much like September in downtown Denver.
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The win was also big in terms of the National League Wild Card race. The Milwaukee Brewers dropped another game in Cincinnati, extending Colorado’s lead for the second Wild Card slot to 2.5 games.
On Sunday, that lead was just a half-game and Colorado fans thought the sky was falling. What a difference 48 hours can make. A four-run sixth inning, highlighted by back-to-back RBI doubles from Nolan Arenado and Mark Reynolds, certainly helped bring down the panic meter.
In what was expected to be an abbreviated start, Tyler Chatwood worked his way out of his trouble throughout his three innings of work. Chatwood walked as many (three) and he struck out and only 28 of his 61 pitches were strikes. Still, double plays in the first and second inning kept the Giants from capitalizing.
A strategy to use a “bullpen game” worked well against San Francisco. Chatwood gave way to Chris Rusin, Carlos Estevez and Antonio Senzatela, who allowed just three Giants hits over the next three innings as Colorado built up a 6-1 edge.
That, however, would be about as comfortable as the Giants would let the Rockies be. San Francisco would score twice in the seventh and three times in the eighth to pull within 7-6. But Colorado had an answer in the form of Carlos Gonzalez, who slapped a pinch-hit, eighth-inning double to extend Colorado’s lead back to 8-6. DJ LeMahieu plated CarGo to balloon the lead to 9-6 and set the stage for Greg Holland, who pitched a perfect ninth for his 37th save of the season.
Next: A look at the playoff picture
Colorado (74-64) will go for a sweep of San Francisco on Wednesday night when Kyle Freeland (11-9, 3.89 ERA) takes the mound against Johnny Cueto (6-7, 4.54 ERA).