Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
westernhomes (at) yahoo (dot) com
This game was a story of bases-loaded situations. In the seventh and the ninth, the Rockies barely missed turning double plays with Cardinals on every base, and in each case a single run was able to score. In the bottom of the eighth, Colorado loaded 'em with nobody out, then came away with nothing after Albert Pujols (keep an eye on this guy, he might be pretty good) started a nifty double play. It seemed somehow kismet that down two in the bottom of the ninth, the Rockies loaded the bases again. Todd Helton, their best hitter, the guy on the club most due for a big hit, came up to the plate. You have to love baseball for situations like this -- the Colorado announcers were practically speaking in tongues up in the broadcast booth.
Cardinals closer Jason Isringhausen, who had allowed one run on the year up to that point, promptly gave up a game-tying two-run single to Helton, intentionally walked Matt Holliday (two homers and a double), and gave way to Randy Flores, who walked Brad Hawpe on five pitches to force in the winning run. What can you say? Isringhausen was obviously due for a bad outing. But the Rockies reacted to the walk-off win with jubilation quite out of proportion for a 16-36 team. They're still going to lose a ton of games on the road, but if they're going to develop some confidence at home, it'd be a beginning.
Shawn Chacon, after missing a start, was not real good (7 hits, 3 walks, 5 earned in 5 innings). Jay Witasick pitched a scoreless eighth to continue in his role as the unsung hero of the Colorado bullpen. Matt Anderson did an exemplary job working out of a bases-loaded jam allowing only one run to score, but it was he who loaded the bases in the first place with a hit and two walks. Cory Sullivan went 3 for 4, and his one hitless appearance was the shot that Pujols somehow stabbed on the fly. Clint Barmes started cold but had a big single in the ninth off of Izzy to get the tying run on base. Preston Wilson's pinch-hit single began the winning rally. It was a good day for the outfield corps all around as Holliday and Hawpe each made great catches going long into their respective corners.
Next up, the Cincinnati Reds. Eric Milton (20 homers allowed in 60 IP) at Coors Field? Could be incendiary. Back later with news and preview.
Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.