The Rockies bats came alive late to tie the game and then win it after a decent, but not great, start from call-up-of-the-day Tyler Chatwood. It felt like the team finally exhaled after winning 6-5 on Torrealba's walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th.
I am not going to lie, I turned off the play-by-play and left work when Rex Brothers balked the Braves lead off runner to second to start the ninth. With the Rockies down 5-3 against the Braves, I decided to take the 20 minute drive home to contemplate how to write about being swept at home. Halfway home I decided to peer at the score on my phone and I could not believe my eyes. The last minutes of my drive home took an eternity as I wanted to find out how the Rockies tied the game and what was going to happen in extra innings.
The Rockies replaced their injured ace, Jhoulys Chacin, with Tyler Chatwood to finish off the series against the Atlanta Braves. Given the double header last night, in which multiple relief pitchers went multiple innings, the Rockies needed Chatwood to eat some innings. He didn't earn a quality start, but for the most part he was solid, going six innings with four earned runs (plus one unearned). Unfortunately, the Rockies batters couldn't keep up with the Braves' offense.
Back-to-back bases empty home runs by Michael Cuddyer and Josh Rutledge gave them an early 2-0 lead in the second. Then an infield RBI single by Chatwood in the fourth tied up the game after he allowed three runs in the top half. The Braves scored two more in the sixth off Chatwood, with SS Johnny Herrera contributing an error to help Atlanta. Ultimately, Chatwood provided what the Rockies needed from him, but they were still down by two when he left after the sixth. That is where the game stayed until the ninth inning.
As mentioned previously, Atlanta's Jordan Schafer led off the ninth with a walk and then moved to second on a balk by Rex Brothers. He then stole third and an insurance run seemed almost a certainty. Rex was able to get a ground out that held Schafer for the first out, and then the Rockies were able to pick Schafer off of third in a run down. This proved key to the game as the Rockies were able to stage a comeback that would have otherwise fallen one run short. The bottom half of the ninth started off pedestrian enough, with the Braves bringing in closer Craig Kimbrel (8 saves, 0 earned runs) who retired Jordan Pacheco on one pitch. But then things went a little LoDo crazy, as Scrappy came alive with a double, then a pinch hit single by Tulo put the tying run on base. The Rockies were down to their final out after EY Jr. struck out, but Dex picked him up with a 2-RBI double, continuing his late-inning heroics and tying the game.
After that, it was a game of attrition that saw the Rockies with Yorvit Torrealba and EY Jr. manning the right side of the infield. A one-out triple by EY Jr. was wasted in the eleventh when he was thrown out on a Dex dribbler to first base. But the decision to leave Torrealba in the game at first proved fortuitous as fellow catcher Wilin Rosario led off with a double and Torrealba eventually doubled him in for the win.
An important stat, as pointed out by Sjamb in the game thread, was the bullpen's shutout performance:
6 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 7 K
NL West Position: 1st Place (1.5 game lead)
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2013-04-24&team=Rockies&dh=0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" height="450" width = "450" style="border:1px solid black;"></iframe><br /><span style="font-size:9pt;">Source: <a href="http://www.fangraphs.com/livewins.aspx?date=2013-04-24&team=Rockies&dh=0&season=2013">FanGraphs</a></span>
Row Call (Thanks to all who joined me for a Wednesday afternoon):
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