They did it. The Rockies swept a good baseball team. It feels like only minutes ago that they were playing 1-9 baseball, and looking, if at all possible, even worse than that. Looks like they needed some crisp mountain air.
The Rockies caught a few breaks along the way, but ultimately a good start in his home debut from Chad Bettis would keep the Rockies in the game long enough to eventually lock-down a sweep of MLB's winningest team; the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Bettis started the game with a weak ground-out sandwiched by two strikeouts, including one against All-Star Andrew McCutchen on a diving 88 MPH slider.
His first pitch of the second inning was a fastball right down the middle of the plate that Pedro Alvarez drilled over the right center field fence.
In the third inning, with a runner on third and one out, the infield was pulled in and, Wilin Rosario, making his first start as a first baseman this season, fielded a hard ground ball nicely, preventing a run. With two outs, Bettis would walk the batter you would rather go after in Jose Tabata to bring McCutchen to the plate. The Pirates star would produce a perfect bunt and beat Bettis' throw to first as the second run of the game would score.
In the bottom of the third, Charlie Blackmon, who reached base when he was hit by Jeff Locke, stole second and advanced to third on a questionable (wrong) balk call. Instead of being thrown out for leaving second way too early and having nobody on with two outs, Blackmon stood at third and Dexter Fowler would join him on the bases by following with a walk.
DJ LeMahieu would take advantage of the situation by producing a sacrifice fly, giving the Rockies their first run of the game without having yet recorded a hit.
The top of the fourth would see the Rockies put poetry in motion on a magnificent double play from LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki featuring a spinning throw from DJ and a patented pirouette throw from Tulo. In the top of the fifth Troy Tulowizki would have an almost-web-gem turn into his fourth error on the season when his throw sailed a bit and pulled Wilin Rosario off the bag.
The Rockies would catch another break in the bottom of the fifth when Clint Barmes misplayed what should have been an inning ending double-play off the bat of Dexter Fowler instead leaving runners at second and third with one out. DJ LeMahieu would not be able to deliver his second consecutive productive at-bat, swinging and missing at an 0-2 pitch in the dirt. Rosario would ground out to first and the Rockies would fail to take advantage of their gifted bases this time.
The Rockies would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth on another gift, a bad throw from Pedro Alvarez over the head of his first baseman.
The final line on Chad Bettis would be 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 HR, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K. The Rockies should be able to accept that any time out of their fifth rotation starter.
Manuel Corpas worked a clean seventh and Matt Belisle looked like the Matt Belisle of old striking out two, including Andrew McCutchen on a nasty cutter away after two good breaking pitches.
Nolan Arenado would again play late game offensive hero, smashing a go-ahead RBI double in the bottom of the seventh.
And Rex Brothers would work an absolutely frightening ninth inning, giving up a single to Neil Walker and a double to Tony Sanchez. A nice cut-off-and-quick-throw play from Charlie Blackmon (who also had a nice day at the plate going 2-3, getting hit by a pitch, and scoring a run) would keep the run from scoring.
Brothers was able to secure the sweep by getting Clint Barmes to line out and getting a pop-out after intentionally loading the bases and almost hitting Alex Presley to tie the game. But alas, the win was finally in the stars for the Colorado Rockies and they have swept the team with the best record in baseball.
Today was a good day to wear purple.
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