Jeff Francis Excellent; Stupid 9th Inning Dramatics Somehow Result In Rockies Win

I know that I need to stop mocking this poor man's facial impediment, because come on, I'm not exactly Channing Tatum either, but holy smokes, did this guy lose a bet with God or something?

In true Highlander style, Jeff Francis cut off the head of Pirates' starter Jeff Karstens with a giant sword with a lightning blast and then absorbed all of Karstens' powers of pitching. While Francis is not Scottish, I wouldn't be surprised if he owned a sword. He certainly owned the Pirates though, allowing only 1 run on 6 hits through 5 innings. Josh Roenicke pitched 3 innings of 1-hit ball in relief of Francis, and while he was not awarded a Save or anything, he was awarded a set of giant brass balls.

Alas, Francis and Roenicke's work was all wiped away by a first-pitch 3-run home run off of the bat of Pedro Alvarez in the 9th inning. Rafael Betancourt came in to close out the 9th with a 4-1 lead, and allowed 2 hits and induced a popup to Marco Scutaro. It was at about this point that crew chief Gary Cederstrom decided that the rain which had been pretty consistently falling over the prior 3 innings was suddenly too heavy, and called a 52-minute rain delay during which Rockies fans in Denver were treated to an hour of Rockies Weekly with Jim Tracy.

I personally made my bed, changed out some laundry, ate a can of Tropical Mixed Fruit, and enjoyed Carlos Gonzalez' All-Star Special.

Finally, the delay lifted, and Rex Brothers promptly gave up a long ball into the LF bleachers to Alvarez. Around this point, I finished my tropical fruit and began to completely erase what little of this game wrap I had written. Next batter singled through the hole on the left, after which a sharp grounder to Jordan Pacheco became a 5-4-3 double play that got the Rockies out of the top of the 9th.

9th inning dramatics continued in the Rockies half, as Jason Grilli, affectionately known as "Gas Can Grilli" came in to get the Bucs to the 10th. Grilli, a former Rockie, has been having a pretty outstanding season, allowing only a .149 AVG and striking out over 14 batters per 9 innings.

First batter was Wilin Rosario. Rosario watched a curveball for a strike, after which Drew and Jeff began postulating that Rosario would see only breaking balls the rest of his PA. The immediate next pitch was a fastball, which Rosario ripped to LF for a base hit. Josh Rutledge bunt-fouled out for the first out, giving way to Jason Giambi in place of Rex Brothers. Giambi took the 2-1 pitch on a line to CF, driving Rosario to 3B with only 1 out. True to form, Jim Tracy pinch ran for Giambi with Jeremy Guthrie.

With one out and runners on the corners, Dexter Fowler, scuffling through a 1-for-4 night, watched 2 outside pitches before taking the centercut fastball high in the air to Andrew McCutchen in CF. Rosario tagged up from 3B and scored, giving the Rockies a 5-4 victory, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

Rafael Betancourt was awarded his first Hold of the 2012 season.


Source: FanGraphs

Pitcher IP H HR ER BB SO pLI WPA
T Watson 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0.16 .009
J Karstens 7.0 6 0 4 2 4 0.88 -.138
J Grilli 0.2 2 0 1 0 1 3.33 -.343
Total 8.2 9 0 5 3 6 1.02 -.472

Pitcher IP H HR ER BB SO pLI WPA
J Francis 5.0 6 0 1 0 1 1.17 .166
J Roenicke 3.0 1 0 0 1 0 0.79 .164
R Betancourt 0.1 2 0 2 0 0 1.19 -.050
R Brothers 0.2 2 1 1 0 0 2.48 -.252
Total 9.0 11 1 4 1 1 1.18 .028

Batter AB R H HR RBI BB SO pLI WPA
A Presley 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 1.01 -.039
J Harrison 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.15 -.089
D Sutton 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.31 -.009
A McCutchen 4 1 2 0 0 0 0 0.98 -.028
C McGehee 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.95 -.077
N Walker 4 1 3 0 0 0 0 1.04 .062
P Alvarez 3 2 1 1 3 1 0 1.65 .308
J Mercer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R Barajas 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.43 -.079
J Grilli 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
C Barmes 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 1.41 -.155
G Hernandez 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.00 -.027
T Watson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M McKenry 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J Karstens 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 1.53 .106
Total 34 4 11 1 4 1 1 1.18 -.028
Batter AB R H HR RBI BB SO pLI WPA
D Fowler 4 0 1 0 1 0 1 1.47 .170
M Scutaro 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 0.70 -.044
J Pacheco 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.55 -.060
C Gonzalez 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0.51 -.060
M Cuddyer 3 0 1 0 0 1 0 0.45 .017
T Colvin 3 1 0 0 0 1 2 0.77 .001
W Rosario 3 2 2 0 0 1 0 1.44 .195
J Rutledge 4 1 1 0 1 0 1 1.73 .000
J Francis 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.99 -.027
J Roenicke 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.21 -.006
E Young 1 1 1 0 2 0 0 1.49 .103
J Guthrie 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J Giambi 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3.01 .183
R Brothers 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R Betancourt 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 33 5 9 0 5 3 6 1.02 .472
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