What could’ve been the choke of the season nearly took place in Denver on Thursday night as the Colorado Rockies hosted the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rockies won, 10-7, but the fact that it was even that close was quite problematic.
Colorado feasted on Dodgers’ starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, who gave up two runs in the first inning, five runs in the second and three runs in the fourth. Not until the Dodgers went down 10-0 did manager Dave Roberts decide to pull Ryu. His final line: 4 IP, 8 H, 10 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 4 SO.
Ryu’s worst moment came when the umps tried to decipher if he was pitching out of the stretch or not while determining whether a balk might’ve taken place. After bringing out a translator and seemingly clarifying Ryu’s wind up, the starter walked back to the mound and was called for a balk on the very next pitch.
Luckily for the Dodgers, that fourth inning was the low point.
L.A. chipped away at the Rockies lead bit by bit. A run in the fifth inning gave way to two more in the sixth, then another two in the eighth. That’s when things started to get real nerve-wracking for the Rockies.
Now only down 10-5, Kike Hernandez started off the inning with a double, followed by Brett Eibner’s single to left that allowed Hernandez to score, making it 10-6. Los Angeles used that momentum as Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor both singled to load the bases for Chase Utley with no outs. Utley’s presence made this officially a save situation, which is wild when you open up the game with a 10-run lead.
The Rockies brought in their closer, Greg Holland, after Bellinger’s hit, but the move didn’t pay off until Utley approached the plate. The second baseman put a 1-0 fastball on the ground for an easy double-play — even though a run still scored.
With the threat level turned back down a few notches, Holland got Yasiel Puig to strike out to end the game.
A win is always worth enjoying, but you can’t imagine the Rockies feel too great after almost blowing that one. You can imagine they’ll feel even worse having to dig into their bullpen after going up by double digits, let alone having to call upon their closer in that scenario.
In fact, the only solace — other than an all-important win — might just be the performance of Holland. In what’s looking like the steal of the offseason, Holland picked up his 15th consecutive save on Thursday.
Greg Holland has converted 15 of 15 save opportunities to start the season, tying the #Rockies franchise record (also: Jose Jimenez, 2002).
— Rockies PR (@RockiesPR) May 12, 2017
Don’t worry Colorado fans, this was a stressful night that everyone will forget about soon enough.
Except for Hyun-Jin Ryu … he’d probably like this one back.
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