The Colorado Rockies had the right man up in the right spot. Nolan Arenado batted against Hansel Robles with the bases loaded in a tie game in the bottom of the 9th inning against the New York Mets.
Like he did on Tuesday night, Arenado came through. Granted, he came through mostly thanks to his ability to dodge errant pitches in an inning that already had a hit batter and two walks (with one of those being the new, intentional variety). Somewhat predictably, Robles issued a walk-off walk to Arenado, sailing ball four to the backstop to end a truly miserable showing and give the Rockies a 5-4 win over the Mets.
While the focus will be on that strange finish, this was a back-and-forth game that afforded each team opportunities to do more. Each team chipped away, scoring a run at a time. For the Rockies’ part, they scattered 10 hits against starting pitcher Rafael Montero but never broke through with a big rally.
DJ LeMahieu and Gerardo Parra plated two runs in the third inning on a pair of RBI singles. Yoenis Cespedes answered with a home run in the fourth inning, and then Montero tied things up with an RBI single.
The Rockies took the lead on a home run from Charlie Blackmon, only to allow the Mets to tie it back up. Then they took the lead again, this time on a home run from Mark Reynolds, only to allow the Mets to tie it back up. So it was that this game remained 4-4 until the decisive ninth inning.
Momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher, so the saying goes, and that is even more true in certain cases at Coors Field. Coming off a 10-run meltdown from their pitching staff, the Rockies needed some stability from rookie German Marquez. He delivered once again and continued his solid work this season, even if he wasn’t as dominant as he was in his previous start. He went six innings, allowing three runs on three walks and five strikeouts.
There were some hiccups from the Colorado bullpen as the game wore on. Pat Neshek had another bumpy outing, giving up an RBI double to Asdrubal Cabrera. The adventures of Adam Ottavino continued, with a walk and a hit batter book-ending a couple outs in the ninth inning. Mike Dunn and Greg Holland got the final four outs.
All of this set up a nice Rockies rally in the ninth. Well, sort of. It was a rally with no hits, if that’s even still a rally. For whatever it’s worth, Arenado got a meatball on the first pitch he saw and was mad that he didn’t end the game in more dramatic fashion. He had to settle for the walk, reluctantly celebrating a job well done after he worked back from an 0-2 count.
A literal #walkoff. pic.twitter.com/vFzfaTxlWO— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) August 3, 2017
Now, to channel the old Colbert Report with a couple other observations: a tip of the cap to Jonathan Lucroy for a solid debut. He was on base three times, knocking two hits, and he threw out Jose Reyes trying to steal in the eighth inning to the glee of the Coors faithful.
A wag of my finger to LeMahieu for testing the throwing arm of Cespedes and trying to stretch a double into a triple with one out in the seventh inning. He made up for it with a great at-bat in the final inning, but it was still a brutal mistake.
Given their struggles in New York out of the All-Star break, this is a satisfying series win for the Rockies. They will try to keep the good times going against the Philadelphia Phillies at Coors Field this weekend.