Carlos Gonzalez has had a miserable 2017 season. And despite the fact that he has picked it up recently, that has gone largely unnoticed with how poorly the rest of the Colorado Rockies have played. But CarGo kept his cool when it mattered the most on Monday afternoon, drawing a walk-off walk in a 4-3 win over the San Francisco Giants that his club desperately needed.
Rockies starter Chad Bettis was bitten by the first two batters in the Giants order, Denard Span and Joe Panik. Those two went 4-for-6 off of Bettis with a solo home run each — in the first and third respectively — and scored three runs, the last one coming in the sixth on a double and single that chased Bettis from the game.
Other than those two players, Bettis was phenomenal, allowing just one other hit, issuing zero walks and striking out three.
Charles Blackmon, the most likely candidate, got the Rockies on the board in the third with a solo home run deep over the high wall in right-center field. It was his 33rd homer of the season and 86th RBI.
Carlos Gonzalez led off the fourth with a line drive double down the left field line but after a strikeout from Ian Desmond and a groundout from Jonathan Lucroy CarGo was standing at third with two outs and Bettis at the plate for his second at-bat with a chance to do damage. Then, something strange happened. Bettis worked a great AB and hit a hard groundball through the right side to score Gonzalez and tie the game. Even stranger, the Rockies came up with two more two-out hits on a single from Blackmon that moved Bettis to third and a single from DJ LeMahieu that put the Rockies on top 3-2. Nolan Arenado drew a walk to load the bases but Gerardo Parra grounded out to second base to keep the inning from becoming a huge one for Colorado.
While the three hits with two outs was a big step in the right direction, the failure to get the big one again came back to haunt them when Panik tied the game in the sixth.
Chris Rusin finished that inning for the Rockies to keep the game tied. He has pitched 73.2 innings this season which is the second most in MLB. He has posted a 2.32 ERA. Pat Neshek pitched a 1-2-3 frame with a strikeout in the seventh.
Span and Panic did their thing again with back-t0-back singles against Jake McGee with one out in the eighth. But the Rockies fireballing left-hander induced an inning-ending double play off the bat of Buster Posey to keep the game tied at three.
Blackmon led off the bottom of the ninth with what was ruled a double, the ball popping out of the glove of the left fielder, Williams. LeMahieu hit it hard on the ground to the right but it was fielded cleanly and Blackmon had to freeze. Arenado was intentionally passed and Parra drew a walk of the conventional variety. Pat Valiaka was called upon to pinch-hit and struck out on three pitches.
Colorado improved to 73-64. With the Milwaukee Brewers losing on a walk-off home run by Billy Hamilton (of all people) the Rockies are back to a game-and-a-half lead on the second spot in the Wild Card.