WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 08: Jordan Pacheco #22 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates after scoring on a wild pitch by Tyler Clippard #36 of the Washington Nationals in the ninth inning at Nationals Park on July 8, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Just look at that headline for a second. Seems really surreal, doesn't it? That's because productive outs, and the human version of productive outs (Eric Young Jr.) rarely lead any team to victory, let alone one who lacks in so many different areas. However, they were able to do it today, behind a strong start from, of all people, Jeremy Guthrie, as well as some fine bullpen work.
Eric Young Jr., a guy who is slugging under .300 for his career, hit a pinch-hit home run in the top of the eighth inning, which raised his career total to 2 - TWO - in 576 plate appearances. It proved to be a big one, as the Rockies would tie the game several batters later on a wild pitch, and would take the lead via the same thing in the next inning as Jordan Pacheco scored on a Tyler Clippard wild pitch after doubling and being bunted to third by Jonathan Herrera. The Rockies also scored a "professional" run in the second inning, as Tyler Colvin singled, stole a base, and eventually scored on a Wil Nieves sacrifice fly. Professional baseball, guys.
Jeremy Guthrie's effort should not go unappreciated, as he did his part to prevent his team from going into the All-Star break 20 games below .500 by tossing six innings of two-run ball, walking just one batter while striking out three. It was another quality start from a Rockies pitcher, which has seemingly happened more in the past couple of weeks than it had all season leading up to that point. The Nationals scored a key run off of Matt Belisle via a stupid method as well (Roger Bernadinha bunted himself on, stole second, and scored on Steve Lombardozzi's single), but that was the only damage the Rockies' bullpen would allow, as Rex Brothers and Rafael Betancourt each pitched a scoreless inning to close out the game.
The thing that matters the most here is that the Rockies will go into the break with at least some momentum after winning a series on the road against the NL's best team. Their four-man rotation will also get some much-needed rest, and maybe your Giambis, Heltons, and Herreras, who are all struggling right now, can clear their heads and produce a little better when play resumes on Friday.
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