This was a very exciting game all the way through, but unfortunately what I will remember most about it was all the questionable managerial decisions after the 7th. Hall of Famer Bobby Cox: why run John Smoltz out in the 8th when your bullpen is having a solid series and the altitude effect is in play? Smoltz's pitch count was not terribly high (he ended up at 109), but this is his first year starting after three as a reliever, and they say the muscles wear down faster at 5,280.
Clint Hurdle: why even bother throwing Chin-Hui Tsao up against major league hitters? These guys can hit straight fastballs. They do it in the cages before the every game. Doesn't matter if it's 98, if they know it's coming, it's going far. Tsao rolled over in the 9th, turning a 4-2 lead into a 5-4 deficit.
Then Dustan Mohr got all over a Dan Kolb offering in the bottom of the ninth and made it 5-5. Then, gee whiz, Clint Barmes got a base hit. A-Miles singles, Barmes hustles to third. No-brainer intentional pass to Todd Helton. Kolb takes a seat in favor of Chris Reitsma. Pinch-hitter Preston Wilson waves impotently at three medicore breaking balls, as he often does. Todd Greene chucks one into short center, and the Rockies win a series from a first-place team. Hold on, I'm going to write that again. The Rockies win a series from a first-place team.
Clint Barmes, 2 for 5 with a triple. Todd Helton 3 for 4 with a double and a walk. Todd Greene 3 for 5 with a game-winning RBI! Good luck getting off the bench, J.D. Closser. Dustan Mohr, 1 for 1 after a double switch with a huge home run. Brian Fuentes, 1 scoreless with a strikeout.
But the player of the game? Byung-Hyun Kim. 5 innings, 5 strikeouts, 3 hits, 1 earned run. He did walk four, but none of those baserunners scored. Maybe the Rockies should start BK at home and Jamey Wright on the road from now on, if such a thing can be puzzled out.
Hang on a second! Wait for it...the Rockies won a series from a first place team!