The Colorado Rockies were clinging to a 2-0 lead thanks to the run producer extraordinaire, Nolan Arenado, but had missed on multiple opportunities and had been walking a tight rope with the Los Angeles Dodgers offense. Mark Reynolds strode to the plate with the bases loaded to face rookie reliever Walker Buehler, a top prospect in the Dodgers system. Reynolds worked the count in his favor then smashed a hard fastball just over the wall in left-center for a grand slam, the fifth of his career. This was the complete opposite of the strikeout and/or double play the team and their fans became accustomed to in August.
Is this real life?
A tight game turned into a route and the series ended not with a whimper... but with a bang. 8-1, Rockies.
The Dodgers have now lost 15 of their last 16 ballgames but are still 41 games over .500. This was the first four-game sweep by the Rockies in LA since August of 1993.
Colorado got right after LA pitching early again, getting a leadoff walk from Charlie Blackmon, and a pair of singles up the middle from DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado to stake a 1-0, first inning lead. Trevor Story followed with a walk to load the bases with nobody out but a popup from Carlos Gonzalez and back-t0-back punch outs by Reynolds and Raimel Tapia left 'em loaded, the Rockies having missed an opportunity to deliver a body blow early.
Tyler Chatwood picked up right where he left off in his last start against the San Francisco Giants, issuing a small village worth of base runners but somehow keeping the scoreboard clean. He surrendered a pair of one-out singles to Corey Seager and Justin Turner but struck out Cody Bellinger and got Austin Barnes to ground out to avoid damage. In the second, Chatwood gave up a leadoff single to Curtis Granderson and a one-out single to Andre Ethier but again stranded both runners with a strikeout and a lineout. In the third, it was back-to-back walks to Bellinger and Barnes but Granderson flew out and Chatwood walked off the mound having allowed 13 base runners over his last six innings pitched and zero runs.
Arenado clobbered a high fastball to lead off the third, driving it high over the left field fence for his 32nd home run of the season. He has an even split with 16 at home and 16 on the road. The blast also put him at an MLB-leading 119 RBI on the year.
Chatwood allowed a one-out single to Ethier in the fourth but was otherwise clean, bringing him to 14 base runners but zero runs over his last seven innings. He now has a 3.41 ERA in 71.1 innings on the road this season.
Carlos Estevez pitched the sixth and gave up a leadoff single to Barnes but struck out Granderson and got Logan Forsythe to ground into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. Mike Dunn pitched a clean seventh.
After having missed several opportunities to add on throughout the afternoon, finally got a big hit -- a huge hit. LeMahieu singled and Arenado and Gonzalez both walked to set the stage for the Reynolds grand slam, his 29th home run of the season. Base hits from Raimel Tapia and Tony Wolters made it 7-0. Story hit his second home run of the series and 21st of the season in the top of the ninth scoring the 28th run of the four-game set for Colorado.
The Dodgers broke up the shutout with a solo home run off the bat of Alex Verdugo against Adam Ottavino. It was Verdugo's first home run of the season.
Four different Rockies had multi-hit games in this one. It must all have been a dream.
It must have all been a dream.
In this series, 10 different Rockies recorded at least one RBI, nine different Rockies recorded at least one extra-base hit, and scored the aforementioned 28 runs. That's the most runs by an opponent in Dodger Stadium in four years. The bullpen has been nails and the starting pitching good-to-great. If the Rockies could turn dreams into reality, this is what it would look like.
Colorado improved to 78-65 and keep their three game lead on the second spot in the NL Wild Card. They are off to face the Arizona Diamondbacks in their second straight four-game divisional series. Kyle Freeland faces off against Zack Greinke in Game 1.