Not since Dr. Dre and The Chronic has a debut album been so critically acclaimed or had so many important hit singles.., well, singles, doubles, triples and walks I should say. I'm going to list the ten at bats with the highest leverage index in Troy Tulowitzki's season so far, with a description of the situation and the result. Leverage Index, based off of work by Tom Tango of The Book: Playing the Percentages of Baseball fame, basically tries to measure the stress of a play and its importance in determining the outcome of a game. Close and late situations will have a considerably higher LI than early in a contest or in blowouts. A chart of it can be found here. At any rate, and in simpler parlance, these are the clutchiest moments in Tulo's season:
1. April 3 vs. Arizona. LI: 6.06
Situation: Bottom of the 11th with two outs and the score tied 3-3, Jamey Carroll waits on third with the winning run.
Result: Troy lines a double to right off of Jose Valverde, Carroll scores and the Rockies win their first game of the season.
2. June 7 vs. Houston. LI: 5.01
Situation: Bottom of the ninth inning with the score tied at six, runners at first and third with one out.
Result: Tulo singles into the hole between shortstop and third, just out of reach of a diving Adam Everett. Carroll again comes in to score the winning run.
3. April 24 vs. New York. LI: 4.43
Situation: Top of the 10th inning, two outs. The Rockies were tied 0-0 with the Mets. Willy Taveras was on third.
Result: Tulo tripled to center field off of Billy Wagner. Taveras scores to tie the game, but Tulo's stranded and the Rockies would lose the game in the 12th inning, 2-1.
4. May 4 vs. Cincinnati. LI: 3.69
Situation: Top of the 11th inning, two outs, score tied at five. Taveras had just doubled to get into scoring position with the go ahead run.
Result: Tulo lines a single to right, scoring Taveras and Brian Fuentes comes on to shut the Reds down in the bottom half of the inning. The Rockies win.
5. May 20 vs. Kansas City. LI: 3.66
Situation: In the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the Rockies down by a run. Steve Finley sits on first with the tying score.
Result: Tulo gets hit by a pitch, moving Finley into scoring position. After that, my memory gets hazy. In fact, I think I might be making this one up and this day or game didn't really exist at all.
6. May 20 vs. Kansas City. LI: 3.60
Situation: Bottom of the 11th with nobody out, and the Rockies down five to four. Tulo was leading off the inning and needed to get another rally going.
Result: Tulo walks, and later comes around to score. Seriously though, something very very bad happened here. Stop now, please.
7. May 22 vs. Arizona. LI: 3.41
Situation: Top of the ninth inning with nobody out, Jamey Carroll on first, and the Rockies down 2-1.
Result: Tulowitzki lines a double off of D-backs closer Brandon Lyon and Carroll comes around to score the tying run. Yorvit Torrealba then bunts him over to third and Tulo scores what would be the winning run on a Ryan Spilborghs sacrifice fly.
8. June 1 vs. Cincinnati. LI: 3.41
Situation: Bottom of the 8th, runners on first and third with two outs and the Rockies down four to two after they had already scored one run in the rally.
Result: Tulo pulled a line drive off a 3-1 pitch from David Weathers to left field. Norris Hopper had to charge to his left and make a nice defensive play to end the inning. Adam Dunn had just been pulled for defensive purposes and certainly wouldn't have made the catch. The Rockies would go on to lose by that 4-2 margin.
9. April 29 vs. Atlanta. LI: 3.34
Situation: Bottom of the ninth with nobody out and Taveras on first. The Rockies were down 7-5.
Result: Tulo draws a walk off Bob Wickman and would later come around to score the tying run on a Brad Hawpe groundout. Matt Holliday would hit a two run homerun in the 11th to win the game.
10. May 27 vs. San Francisco. LI: 3.26
Situation: Top of the tenth with one out and the score tied at four. Kazuo Matsui was on second with the go ahead run.
Result: Troy smacks a single off of Brad Hennessey, scoring Matsui and advances to second on the throw. He scores on a Chris Iannetta double one batter later. Rockies win 6-4 and sweep the Giants in San Francisco.
In nine out of the ten most crucial situations that Tulowitzki has come to the plate, he's come through by at least getting on base. Six hits, with two doubles and a triple, two walks and an HBP. The one time that he did make an out a week ago today required a solid defender, and the hit seemed more likely to drop than the Willy Taveras single that preceded it. There's a ton of luck going on here, but I'd be hard pressed to say that it's all luck. He's the Rockies' Melo, their Jordan when it comes to clutch time. It's just insane how good he's been in these situations, but I'm certainly not complaining.