The Rockies and the Giants played a heck of a lot of baseball on this first day of September, and each club emerged with a victory and a loss. The first game was the resumption of a washed out May contest that was tied at two; in the eighth inning Hunter Pence, that preeminent destroyer of Rockie hearts, doubled in the runs that would win the game. The Giants held on for the 4-2 win.
The regularly scheduled game for the day somehow swung in the Rockies' favor. The Rockies came back from a five run deficit and survived a LaTroy Hawkins blown save to eventually win on a Charlie Blackmon walk off single.
There were a lot of story lines to this game. The first is: good lord Hunter Pence is annoying. Mister googily-eyes googled a ball over the right field wall in the first inning for a three run home run. Another run would score in the frame and the Rockies found themselves down by four before we could even get over the disappointment of the first game.
Franklin Morales was not effective in this particular start, which is a sentence that probably doesn't need to be written, like saying water is wet. He worked only 4.1 innings, surrendering nine hits and seven runs while walking more (4) than he struck out (3). After Yohan Flande cleaned up the mess he created in the fifth inning, Morales ended up leaving with his club down 7-2. It would be understandable if you chose to stop watching the game and participate in a barbecue.
But the offense kept at it, and a few defensive miscues by the Giants opened the door back up. First, DJ LeMahieu tripled in two runs in the second innings by dropping a fly ball right on the chalk in right field. Then in the sixth inning Pablo Sandoval booted a grounder. Later, Joe Panik would mishandle a flip that would have been a double play but resulted in no outs. Singles from Josh Rutledge and Rafael Ynoa helped plate runs as well, and when all was said and done the Rockies had put four runs on the board to make it a 7-6 game.
Speaking of Ynoa, he was making his major league debut today. He went three for four with an RBI and a crucial two out single in the 10th to keep the game alive. His hands looked a little slow on a couple double play attempts, but overall you'd have to say this was a pretty good debut. Atta boy Rafael.
The Rockies wouldn't wait long to complete the comeback. In the seventh inning Josh Rutledge singled home Corey Dickerson to tie it. Then big Ben Paulsen strode to the plate to pinch hit and promptly bombed one over the score board in right. 9-7. Whooooooo.
The bullpen miraculously worked 3.2 scoreless innings after Morales departed, but it turned out that the most reliable member of the 'pen would cough up the lead. LaTroy Hawkins gave up a bloop double and a couple seeing eye singles to blow the save.
But it's okay, he got the Win, further proof that the win stat is stupid and dumb. Mike McKenry singled to lead off the ninth and was sacrificed over to second. You could argue that the bunt wasn't wise, since it tossed away an out when the next hitters would be Charlie Culberson (who is terrible) and Rafael Ynoa (rookie). Culberson did what he does (pop out) but Ynoa collected his second infield single to Brandon Crawford to keep the inning alive.
Charlie Blackmon, who hadn't done much of anything all day, scooped a breaking ball over the first baseman's head and ended the game in a mosh pit. So I guess the day wasn't a total waste. Also, we didn't have to work today. Sooooo, I'd say we ended up positive.
<iframe src="http://www.fangraphs.com/graphframe.aspx?config=0&static=0&type=livewins&num=0&h=450&w=450&date=2014-09-01&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=2014-09-01&team=Rockies&dh=0&season=2014">FanGraphs</a></span>