Wow, just wow! Is all I can say after watching the entire Colorado Rockies vs. San Diego Padres 1-game playoff to decide who wins the NL wild card and gets the right to meet the Phillies in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
This game was ridiculous. The Rockies used 10 pitchers! Ten! I mean that’s your starter and your entire 6 or 7 man bullpen (depending on what the team carries) plus 2 rotation pitchers. I’ve seriously never heard of such a thing. The ebbs and flows of this game was like being on a sail boat in the Pacific, I was seriously getting a little seasick.
The Rockies jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on Jake Peavy and the Padres. Peavy came into the game having allowed just 2 runs to the Rockies in two starts against them this year. Then the Padres came back in the top of the third, loaded the bases twice and scored five runs off of Colorado starter Josh Fogg, carried by a grand slam from Adrian Gonzalez. Another solo shot off Peavy in the bottom of the inning made it 5-4 and then a couple innings later it was 5-5. Fogg exited and gave way to the entire Rockies bullpen, keeping the game tied at 6’s into the 13th was all they did in about 9 innings of work.
Then in the 13th inning Scott Hairston of the Padres hit a two-run homer to give the Padres the 8-6 lead going into the bottom of the inning. Surely, with the all time saves leader in baseball history — Trevor Hoffman — taking the mound, this game was over right? Haha, of course not.
Base hit Matsui. Double by Tulowitzki on a full count, Matsui scores and it’s 8-7. Holliday comes up and smacks a triple off the wall in right, Tulowitzki ties it up and the winning runner now stands on third with nobody out and Hoffman still on the mound. Padres intentionally walk Helton from there and Matt Carroll steps to the plate. After the Padres defense gets set up and Hoffman gets a quick talking to on the mound, Hoffman makes his first offering to Carroll.
And that would be the last offering of the Padres season as it would turn out. Carroll stroked it to mid right where Giles gloved it and with Holliday tagging gathered up all his momentum and arm strength to fire a laser to catcher Michael Barrett. It one hops him just as Holliday starts his slide, Barrett mishandles the ball but his left foot stays firmly planted guarded the corner of the plate and steps on Holliday’s hand, Holliday slides on by never having touched the plate as the ball trickles feet away. The home plate umpire stays still as Barrett retrieves the ball, gloves it and crawls over to the downed body of Holliday but then just as he is inches away from tagging him, the umpire makes the safe call and the Colorado bench and the entire stadium erupt in joy.
Wow. And what a way to kick off what can possibly be the most intriguing and highly watched postseason — if not the best — ever. With franchises as old and deeply rooted as the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies all participating with great chances to win the pennant, fans should flock to the stadiums and be glued to their tv’s. Then you throw in the fan bases of teams like the Angels and Indians (not to mention the talent and quality of play) as well as the burgeoning young teams Arizona and Colorado who are playing incredibly well at the current moment in time and what this all boils down to is some great drama.
I for one will be watching. I hope you are too. You won’t want to miss it.