Sunday, September 30, 2007

Whoof Hee Hooba

OMG. Jesus. Wow. Need cardiac unit. Need it.

The Brewers, down to their last strike against Trevor Hoffman in Milwaukee, which would give the Pads the Wild Card outright and eliminate the Rockies, pulled off a pretty improbable rally. Tony Gwynn Jr., in the mother of all ironies, hit a game-tying triple to force extra innings, and in the bottom of the eleventh, Vinny Rottino's RBI single brought home Ryan Braun to seal a 4-3 win for the Crew. Still, it didn't mean anything unless the Rockies won; a Pads win or Rox loss would boot my boys out for the 12th straight season.

The Rockies did not lose. Led by a 4-run first and a sixth-inning grand slam from tROY Tulowitzki (if he doesn't have that thing wrapped up, it's highway robbery) they assaulted the Diamondbacks 11-1 and lived to play another day.

But they faced the same situation today -- they had to win, and the Padres had to lose, just to reach a tiebreaker. The Padres chose to pitch Brett Tomko and save Jake Peavy for a Monday start in the tiebreak, while the Rockies tabbed talented 23-year-old Ubaldo Jimenez. They were opposed by Jeff Suppan and Yusmeiro Petit, respectively, and the Padres went up 3-o early. It looked as if the Rockies were going to go down without being able to lift a hand in their own defense, which sucked.

Then Tomko began to pitch like the 4-11 pitcher he was, the Brewers capitalized, and went up 5-4, stretched it to 6-4, and didn't look back with Gabe Gross's bases-clearing triple making it 9-4. They tacked on a few extra, fended off a ninth-inning threat from the Friars, and made it an 11-6 final.

U-ball and Petit came out of the gate dueling, and Jimenez was amped; his first pitch clocked at 98, and he no-hit the D-backs through five complete innings while racking up 10 Ks. His control goes to hell around 95 pitches, and usuallly in the seventh inning. He walked two, Hurdle put in Julio for some reason best known to him, and naturally, he permitted an RBI single to tie the game at one. (Atkins' single and Hawpe's triple had led to a 1-0 advantage for the Rox an inning earlier). Hurdle fortunately yanked him and installed Fuentes, who came up with two huge strikeouts to end it, and managed (after two walks) to repeat the performance in the top of the eighth as well.

Bottom of the eighth. Tulowitzki reaches on an error, Holliday reaches on an infield single, Tulo to third, Helton walks. Atkins comes through with the tiebreaking RBI single, and then, with Coors going berserk, Hawpe delivers the two-run double to push them to 4-1. Torrealba struck out, naturally, and Cory Sullivan grounded into a double play, to squash their chances of getting more.

Onto the ninth. Usually reliable Manny Corpas has been looking wobbly lately, and allowed a single and a double to open the inning; a run scored on a sacrifice fly. He then induced a groundout, but an RBI bloop single made it 4-3. I was pretty much dying. Rocking. Squeaking. Hyperventilating. Moaning. Crazy.

Stephen Drew chops it back to the box. Manny fields it off-balance and flings it to Helton, who beats Drew by half a step to the bag. Coors goes off the handle and so does Helton, who skips around madly and flings himself into Tulo's arms. The Rockies did what they needed to do. They won 13 of 14 to set up the playoff game tomorrow, which will be Jake Peavy vs. Josh Fogg (not good, admittedly, but who had us winning 13 of 14? Who had us in this position, tied for second place in the NL West at 89-73, one game behind the D-backs? Playing in front of a sold-out crowd with the purple fever?

Here are the playoff spots:
NL West: D-backs
NL Central: Cubs
NL East: Phillies (yes, the Mets tanked, and I'm afraid this will cost Holliday the MVP in favor of Rollins)
NL Wild Card: Padres or Rockies (pending outcome of the game tomorrow)

AL West: Angels
AL Central: Indians
AL East: Red Sox
AL Wild Card: Yankees


NLDS 1: Wild Card vs. Phillies
NLDS 2: Cubs vs. D-backs.

ALDS 1: Angels vs. Red Sox
ALDS 2: Yankees vs. Indians

I'm pulling for a Rockies/Indians series. And I do believe that the Rockies are going to win tomorrow. They've defied every odd so far, they're going to make this one as well.


No comments: