The Colorado Rockies continue to pitch like like Mad Men but hit like The Walking Dead -- that is, until the ninth inning -- preserving a stellar performance from Tyler Anderson and one of the gutsiest moments of the year from Scott Oberg to fall silent in a 2-1 win over the New York Mets.
Working at a disadvantage on incredibly short rest, the Rockies offense was unable to put together anything resembling a consistent threat, scattering five singles against Jacob DeGrom who is exactly the guy you don't want to see when you're not at your best.
DeGrom was his usual phenomenal self and now owns a season ERA of 2.56, which would easily be the best mark of any single season in Rockies history.
Tyler Anderson was almost as good for the Rockies, mostly working around seven hits he surrendered. Only a Rene Rivera double in the second inning with two outs managed to tarnish Anderson's day ... and as it would turn out ultimately win the game.
Rivera was even thrown out on the play trying to stretch the double into a triple, meaning that the only run of the game for the Mets scored on a play that ended the inning.
Anderson has been nothing short of spectacular to begin his MLB career. His ERA through his first 48 innings sits at a cool 3.33 and he has thrown a quality start in eight of his first nine games. He is striking out over seven and a half guys per nine and is walking under two.
In a moment that turned out to be a huge momentum swing, RHP Scott Oberg inherited a bases-loaded-nobody-out situation from Jake McGee and slammed the door shut with a few weak popouts and a big strikeout of Curtis Granderson. These are the kinds of moments where games typically slip away from the Rockies but Oberg was nails and kept his team in the game.
And the Rockies are sure glad he did ...
Just when it looked like the Rockies were going to slink off the field with a whimper, the kids struck again. Trevor Story began things with a single up the middle and David Dahl followed by putting together an at-bat against Jeurys Familia that required poise and wisdom well beyond his experience level.
Dahl had already grabbed a pair of hits in the game, extending his hit streak to four games (every game of his career so far) but was able to work a walk off of Familia that set the stage for the Rockies to force some Mets errors.
First, Daniel Descalso laid down a bunt (with two strikes) that was intended to sacrifice the runners over but took an odd spin and hung just a few feet away from the plate down the first base line. Catcher Rene Rivera opted to see if the ball would roll foul but it stayed right on the line and suddenly the Rockies had the bases loaded with nobody out.
But Rockies fans blood ran cold after a Tony Wolters strikeout, knowing the Mets were a double play away from ending the game at 1-0. Pinch-hitter Cristhian Adames had other ideas, hitting a hard bouncer to the left of first base that James Loney could not field cleanly. A few inches to the right and it might have been game over, Mets win. Instead, the Rockies tied the game and were still threatening with the bases loaded and one out.
Familia, who was clearly rattled, spiked a pitch during the ensuing Charlie Blackmon at-bat and the remarkably speedy Dahl sprinted home to score the go-ahead -- and decisive -- run.
Carlos Estevez recorded his 11th Save of the season, his seventh consecutive, and his third straight three-up-three-down outing.
This was the biggest win of the season for the Rockies because of the sheer amount of random elements working against them coming into the game; The unfortunate start time. The fact that they were on a roll against Baltimore and due to fall back a bit. Sir Jacob DeGrom.
This was the first time all season that the Rockies won a baseball game when down going into the ninth. And they didn't win because of the long ball or the star players of the past. They won because Tyler Anderson, Trevor Story, David Dahl, and Carlos Estevez -- all players who were far from guarantees to ever see an MLB field in 2016 -- showcased the best versions of themselves ... and gave Rockies fans a glimpse into a future painted purple.
Another strong pitching matchup is slated for tomorrow evening in New York. Tyler Chatwood takes on Steven Matz at Citi Field. Start time is 5:10 MST.