Rockies' Magical Ride Hits Nine
Pinch me, I must be dreaming.
Everything seems to be working out perfectly for the Rockies. It’s like all of a sudden, something clicked and the light turned on.
Nine straight winning performances by the starting rotation, solid relief from the bullpen, timely, clutch hitting and games without mental lapses. For the first time, all aspects seem to be playing well at the same time.
The storm clouds that formed across the Denver skyline cleared up at game time, creating a nice evening at the park. Rain, hail and tornado warnings across Colorado all week settled down for the two hour, 28 minute contest. Directly after, the clouds let loose and the streets were flooded with rain showers.
Nine consecutive wins ties for second all-time in Rockies' history—and they’re still going.
Unlike the first eight, though, the ninth came in front of an energetic home crowd. When a double play would be turned, the crowd would roar in cheers. When a close call went the other way, the fans would rain boos.
And let’s not forget the suicide squeeze bunt in the sixth inning when Ian Stewart barely slid home safely on Dexter Fowler’s bunt. Or when Ubaldo Jimenez executed a perfect fake-bunt slap hit past a charging infield to score another run.
Ubaldo threw 127 pitches for the complete game. It was a gritty performance as he surrendered four runs just one out into the fourth inning.
My friend turned to me at that point and asked, “When would you take him out?”
I told him to give him a chance and keep in there for a little longer. Jimenez ended up going another 4 2/3, throwing just his second complete game of his career.
The crowd cheered when manager Jim Tracy left Jimenez in to bat in the eighth inning after his pitch total was well into triple-digits and then erupted again when Tracy walked back to the dugout with two outs in the ninth inning and the tying run at the plate. The manager went out to talk to Jimenez. Most feared he was taking him out just one out before the complete game.
And it was even a special night, not for the Rockies, but for myself getting to see Ken Griffey, Jr. play. I took off work and bought my tickets well before the streak began hoping to see him play.
I grew up idolizing Jr. and wanted to get one last chance to see him play. I saw him about a decade ago when he was still "The Kid" with the M’s and saw him a few years later on Opening Day with the Reds.
I was hoping he would take the field for a rare outfield spot in the lineup to see him play once more. I was disappointed when he didn’t start, but when I saw the pitchers spot was due up in the ninth, it gave me hope. In fact, Griffey did come to the plate, drawing a walk.
It was the never give up mentality that gave the Rockies their ninth consecutive win. They fought, battled, and came from behind to beat the Mariners 6-4 in the series opener.
Don’t wake me, I’m enjoying the ride.
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