Once again the Coors Field effect sinks a good starting pitcher, as Tim Hudson is frustrated to the tune of 7 runs in 3 2/3 in his first career start at the old ballyard. Jamey Wright is hardly better, coughing up six earned but at least managing to qualify for a dubious win by lasting five and a third. Clint Hurdle moved Aaron Miles to the two spot in the lineup and the juggle seems to have paid off in the short run. Miles went 4 for 5 and scored three times. Clint Barmes, hitting leadoff, had a hit and a run. Todd Helton had two doubles and a walk. His average should be back in its accustomed place comfortably over .300 by the end of this homestand. Brad Hawpe, fresh off his featured appearance here this weekend, had two hits as well, one to knock in the tying and eventual game-winning runs. On the short side of things, Garrett Atkins' struggles at the plate continued 0 for 3, although he did manage to coax one of the Rockies' three walks. J.D. Closser had a base hit but struck out twice.
After Wright and Hudson were out of the contest, it changed from a classic Coors ping-pong game into a tense battle of relievers. Atlanta's Adam Bernero was solid for two innings of scoreless relief. Colorado countered with an effective appearance by Jose Acevedo and another good outing from Brian Fuentes. Their teammates, however, were unable to stretch the 1-run lead against Jorge Sosa. Watching the late innings of this one was painful. You knew the Rockies were either on the verge of one of their best victories of the season or one of their most gut-wrenching losses. I was barely able to to keep from covering my eyes after Chin-Hui Tsao finished warming up for the top of the ninth.
"If they lose," I think to myself, viewing Tsao's unreassuring stats (5.00 ERA, .316 BAA), "it's on the sleeveless jerseys." But strikeout, weak groundout, strikeout and there you have it. Way to go Rockies bullpen, I take back everything I ever said bad about you.