The Rockies started 11-3 in 2020, but finished the season an abysmal 26-34 (.433) after going 15-31 down the stretch. Pretty much everything that could’ve gone wrong, did go wrong and the Rockies missed the playoffs for the second year in a row despite a shortened season and expanded field. However, it was a very different story in 2007.
On this day in 2007, the Rockies kicked off Rocktober by clinching a spot in the Game 163 tiebreaker against the Padres — MLB’s first one-game playoff since 1999. As we all remember, September 2007 was a magical time in Rockies history. The team had a sub-.500 record in July, were just one game above .500 in August, and then were 4.5 games out on September 15. However, they went on to win 11 in a row and 13 of their last 14 to clinch such a spot. Entering the final game of the season, they needed the Bud Black-led Padres to lose to the Brewers and they needed to beat the Diamondbacks. Both teams did just that to force Game 163.
The Padres game started about an hour before the Rockies game, and they ultimately lost to the Brewers 11-6 at Miller Park after a back-and-forth contest. The Rockies and Diamondbacks played a fairly quiet game and were tied 1-1 entering the eighth inning. Then the magic happened. Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe combined to drive in three runs in the bottom half of the frame and give the Rockies a 4-1 lead. The Snakes struck back with two runs in the top of the ninth off the bats of Augie Ojeda and Alberto Callaspo, but Manny Corpas made a fantastic barehanded play to throw out Stephen Drew and seal arguably the second-most exciting victory in Rockies history in front of a crowd of 46,375 fans.
11 years later, the Rockies would play another Game 163 against the Dodgers to decide the 2018 NL West division winner. Fortunately the Rockies were already in the playoffs by that point, but unfortunately they lost and were therefore relegated to a Wild Card berth. But we can always look back fondly on that Sunday afternoon at Coors Field in 2007 that kicked off the most magical time in Rockies history.
What are some of your favorite September/Rocktober 2007 moments?
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David Dahl had his most disappointing season in 2020 — hitting just .183 without a single home run in 24 games. He officially went on the 45-day injured list on September 23 with a right shoulder injury and it was formally announced that he underwent surgery on his injured shoulder to repair the labrum and rotator cuff, as well as remove a bone spur and remove a bursa sac. Dahl said he was cleared to begin rehab “tomorrow” (Wednesday) and will be ready for Spring Training. Sam Berge will have more on Dahl’s season in tomorrow’s edition of Ranking the Rockies.
In yesterday’s edition of Ranking the Rockies, I profiled Scott Oberg even though he was unfortunately unable to play due to blood clots in his pitching arm. Oberg underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS) last Wednesday in hopes of keeping the blood clots from recurring for a fourth time. The procedure involved removing the first rib under his shoulder (the highest in the rib cage), which will hopefully relieve some of the pressure on the nerves and blood vessels. The doctor also noticed some compression in an artery that goes across the front of his shoulder, so they “basically went in and tied that off,” according to Oberg. Since his procedure was more vascular than neurological, he hopes that the recovery will be easier since nerves are more unpredictable.
Patrick Saunders also mentions that Oberg is one of a handful of pitchers who have had a similar procedure done. Diamondbacks’ right-hander Merrill Kelly had the procedure done in early September. Most notably for Rockies fans, former Rockies pitcher Aaron Cook had a TOS procedure done after he was rushed to the hospital with blood clots in 2004. He came back to be the Rockies’ best pitcher (and an All-Star in 2008).
We at Purple Row wish David Dahl and Scott Oberg full and speedy recoveries!
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