The Rockies have played this game before. Yep...against the same team, in the same ballpark, with the same pitcher on the mound in a similar high-leverage situation.
The only difference is the hitter and the state of the Rockies' season. Three years ago, the Giants tied the Rockies in the NL Wildcard standings after Rafael Betancourt allowed a grand slam to Edgar Renteria, turning a 5-2 lead into a 6-5 deficit. The Giants were elated, although that would fade a few weeks later as the Rockies ultimately beat them out for a spot in the postseason. The Giants would tattle on the Rockies over the humidor shenanigans a little over a year later, turning the tables on the Rockies fortunes forever.
At least, that's the way it seems like things have played out, as the Rox haven't been the same team, nor had that same swagger, since. Today was no different in the end, although the guys in purple pinstripes did a good job of fighting back from an early deficit to take a two-run lead late in the game. Unfortunately, Betancourt found himself on the AT&T Park mound with the bases loaded again, and the results were just as disastrous. However, this time five runs crossed the plate, coming from a Melky Cabrera infield single, a sac fly by Buster Posey, and a three-run homer off the bat of Hunter Pence. Although Pence is a very unfortunate-looking human being, he is an unbelievable fastball hitter, and with Betancourt becoming predictable, Pence pounced all over him.
The game ended as it began for the Rox, as they found themselves in a 3-0 hole after the first inning behind bad defense and shaky pitching form Alex White. The trouble started with a leadoff double by Angel Pagan, then the Rox failed to tag out Pagan between third and home after he got himself into a pickle on a Marco Scutaro comebacker. What's worse, they allowed Scutaro to reach second base, and both runners scored on Melky Cabrera's base hit a batter later. White would allow one more run before finally getting out of the inning after throwing 36 pitches.
The Rockies admirably climbed back into the game, as back-to-back third inning doubles by Eric Young Jr. and Josh Rutledge cut the deficit to one. The Rox tied the game on a sac fly from White, and after finding themselves down a run again, they put three more on the board via a DJ LeMahieu RBI double, a Carlos Torres (!) RBI single, and a Jordan Pacheco sac fly. The Rox had a chance to put more runs on the board in the top of the eighth, but they were unable to come through. That, of course, set the stage for the shitshow in the bottom half of the inning.
Matt Belisle, noticeably worn down after throwing 764 and a third innings so far this season, struggled to start the inning and ultimately loaded the bases. Of course, the predicament didn't come without a trademark Rockies defensive gaffe, as Carlos Gonzalez lost Brandon Crawford's pop-up in the sun. A Hector Sanchez ground-rule double and an Angel Pagan walk later, the events described above began to unfold.
The lesson to be learned here is that, no matter what the circumstances surrounding the Rockies are - whether they're in a pennant race or they're 30 games below .500 - they will inevitably lose almost every time in San Francisco, and the losses will almost always happen in TESS-inducing fashion. I expected it, and so should you.
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