One. More. Game. The Colorado Rockies need to win one more or just watch the Milwaukee Brewers lose one more in order to make the postseason.
After playing 160, the Colorado Rockies need to win one more or just watch the Milwaukee Brewers lose one more in order to make the postseason. Dismantling the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-1 on the backs of four big home runs Friday night, the Rockies are in a position where they may find themselves clinching a postseason spot before they even take the field on Saturday evening.
Both Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu worked solid at-bats but ended up falling victim to some nice defense by Justin Turner at third base. Then, Arenado kept the pressure on by laying off some tough pitches, fouling a few more away, and eventually launching the eighth pitch of the at-bat 430 feet over the fence in center field to put the Rockies on top 1-0. It was his 37th home run of the season, a new career high in hits at 183, and put him back ahead of Giancarlo Stanton (by one) with an MLB-leading 130 RBI.
Nolan prefers to control his own destiny. pic.twitter.com/aZQvYFKios
— MLB (@MLB) September 30, 2017
But the threat was not yet over. Trevor Story continues to make his manager feel smart for moving him into the cleanup spot against lefties and ripped a single to left before Mark Reynolds absolutely unloaded on a fastball up and away from him, blasting his 30th home run of the season and giving the Rockies a 3-0, first-inning lead.
Ian Desmond led off the second by drawing a walk and was moved up on a one-out sac bunt from Chad Bettis. The extra base would end up mattering very little when Blackmon crushed his 37th home run of the season into the second deck in right field above the high scoreboard. The homer gave him RBI 100 and 101 on the season, giving him the MLB single-season record for most RBI by a leadoff man.
The Dodgers struck back with a scratch-it-out run in the third. Three well-placed singles from Trayce Thompson, Curtis Granderson and the RBI from Justin Turner, just out of the reach of Story at shortstop, made it a 5-1 game.
The rout was on in the fourth when, after an odd interference call that home plate umpire Lance Barksdale called on himself, Story smashed his 24th home run of the season deep over the “Bridich Barrier” in right-center field. It was Colorado’s fourth home run in as many innings, all coming in full counts.
Coming into this game, Story was slashing .282/.320/.563 with four home runs over his last 18 games.
Colorado added a pair of unearned runs in the fifth, getting a leadoff opposite-field double from Carlos Gonzalez and a one-out walk from Jonathan Lucroy. Then, on another strange play, Turner came off the bag at third attempting to turn a sac bunt into a double play and it backfired when everyone was safe. A wild pitch and Baltimore chop from Blackmon later and it was a 9-1 game. That hit moved Blackmon ahead of Helton on the aforementioned list, he needs one more base hit to tie Ellis Burks in fourth place.
Rockies starter Chad Bettis was fantastic, pitching his best performance since returning to the mound, having emerged victorious in his battle with cancer. Missing most of the season because of the illness and the side effects of the treatment, Bettis hasn’t had much of a chance to work back into midseason form, but he sure looked it on Friday. He tossed seven strong innings, giving up just the one third-inning run.
His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
This was the Rockies fifth consecutive win over baseball’s best team.
Colorado improved to 87-73. With the Milwaukee Brewers beating the St. Louis Cardinals, they maintained a two-game lead for the second spot in the National League Wild Card with only two games to play. The worst the Rockies could do now is lose the next two while the Brewers win the next two in order to force a Game 163 at Coors Field. Tomorrow night, the game’s best pitcher Clayton Kershaw, takes on rookie German Marquez. First pitch is at 6:10. The Brewers and Cardinals have a 2:15 start time so the Rockies could no their fate before they begin.