Tonight's game was all about the 7th inning. Juan Nicasio pitched very well, going 6 innings, allowing 2 runs with 4 punchouts and 2 walks. Carlos Gonzalez, Ramon Hernandez, and Troy Tulowitzki had 2 RBI apiece. Definitely a good game by the team.
The 7th inning was where everything got crazy. After padding their 4-2 lead with an RBI sac fly from Ramon Hernandez, putting the score at 5-2, Juan Nicasio was brought in to face Jerry Hairston, Dee Gordon, and Mark Ellis before turning to a tired bullpen.
After Nicasio allowed singles to Hairston and Gordon, Tracy had no choice.
First in the game was Esmil Rogers to hopefully induce a double play to lessen the inevitable blow of Matt Kemp coming to the plate. Instead, Rogers opted to walk Mark Ellis, leaving the bases full of Dodgers with nobody out for arguably the best player in baseball.
Rogers battled Kemp to a 2-2 count, and with everybody's breath held and fingers crossed across Rockiesdom, Rogers proceeded to hang a slider to Kemp.
And Kemp swung right through it.
The crowd went nuts.
The inning was far from over though, as Captain RBI himself, Andre Ethier, was up next. Tracy, loving his matchups, went to Rex Brothers in the bullpen to face Ethier. (Honestly, it was the right move. Ethier has some pretty gnarly splits v LHP.)
Brothers also battled his hitter to a 2-2 count, and like Kemp, Ethier went down swinging against Sexy Rexy.
Mattingly, knowing James Loney's handedness, opted to send out righty Juan Rivera to face Brothers. Tracy saw directly through Mattingly's ruse to outmatchup him, and immediately called to the pen to bring on Edgmer Escalona. (Again, no beef. Rivera is like Andruw Jones or Jonny Gomes - he's a lefty masher and that's about it.)
Escalona came in and immediately threw 2 balls to Rivera. Me, having zero faith in the silliness of baseball falling in our favor, began to quietly groan until Rivera took the first strike he saw and put it about 200 feet in the air, and about 120 feet away from home plate. Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, and Troy Tulowitzki converged in the shallow outfield, and one popper-outer popped out to another, and the 7th inning came to a close.
The Dodgers couldn't get anything going the rest of the game, and Rafael Betancourt looked downright nasty on the mound tonight.
And so, the Rockies left the month of April playing .500 ball.
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