Monday, November 15, 2010

10 Moments from the Rockies 2010 Season

They're ordered and everything but my memory isn't good enough to actually say these are the best of the season, they're just what I remember.  Which makes them pretty biased towards the end of the season of course.
10. The 12 Run Eigth
Setting all sorts of club, league, and baseball records the Rockies plated 12 runs during the eigth inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs.  Constitutive hits, extra-base hits, home-runs, they couldn't be stopped.  This was truly a great moment for any Rockies fan.

9. From 10-1 to 12-10, Rockies Stage a Come-Back
Though not done all in one inning like a later entry on this list, this victory is both incredible on its own and holds a special place in my heart as I was there for it!  In fact you can see me (not very clearly) in the linked video of the final catch which ended the game.

8. Jimenez Sets Rockies Strike-Out Record
Perhaps a bitter-sweet moment, Jimenez fanned 10 this game to set the club's season record for strike-outs, as well as pitching 8 shut-out innings.  Unfortunaley the Rockies couldn't seem to score either so Jimenez was denied his 20th win.

7. Gonzalez Triples to Beat the Giants
In a game of great importance Colorado couldn't seem to get on the board.  The top of the 9th and they'd managed to hold the Giants to just one run, but only an inning left to score themselves.  This may not be the cleanest play of the year but an error and a broken-bat triple were enough to give the Rockies the win that night.  A very exciting moment.

6. Rockie's Nine Run Ninth
Down by six runs in the Ninth, the Rockies refuse to say die.  Seth Smith blasted a 3-run homer after they'd come back to tie, and the Rockies take the game in one of the biggest come-backs ever.

5. Eric Young Goes Behind the Back
This was the first of two, behind-the-back plays Young would make in a week's time.  The play itself is enough for selection but it highlights one of two players on the Rockies that are to be looked for in the coming years for their pure speed.  Whenever Young was up and starting at 2nd this year he easily led the majors in stolen bases.  His teammate, Dexter Fowler, had the most triples this season despite having 430 ABs (as compared to number two on the list who had 600).

4. Chris Nelson's Steal of Home
His first major league steal, Chris Nelson plated the go-ahead, and what proved to be by the next half-inning, winning run himself!  An incredibly exciting moment in an important, end-of-the-year game not to mention an incredibly rare feat: a straight steal of home.  Jim Tracy later said he'd called for the suicide and figured Nelson had just screwed up and went too early (and would certainly be caught).  Nelson said he'd timed the pitcher's delivery and knew he never looked to third once he got set.  However it happened, it's a moment to remember.

3. Tulowitzki's September
In the first 16 games he played his average ran to around .400, he had 34 RBIs, 14 HRs and a slugging percentage in excess of 1.100.  This was, statistically, one of the three greatest Septembers in baseball history (and tied a record for most home-runs in a 15 game strech).  This particular highlight is a favorite of mine as it caps off a 7 RBI game.  More amusingly, after hitting his previous home-run that day over the center-field fence, a fan held up a giant poster-board with a target painted on it under the word 'Tulo'.  This home-run, as you can see, lands about two rows shy of the sign.

2. Ubaldo Jimenez Throws the Rockies First No-Hitter
This was certainly the most impressive, single-game performance of the season.  Though he walked six batters he finished off the game by moving into the stretch and just plain dominating.  His last pitch, which took more than 120 to get to, crossed the plate at 98mph: what an outing!

1. Carlos Gonzalez's Walk-Off Cycle
I don't know why this was my favorite moment of the season.  Perhaps it was because it highlighted one of the greatest, if not the greatest players in baseball today who gets so little attention as a result of playing for the (my) Colorado Rockies.  Perhaps because of the dramatic fashion in which it occurred: bottom of the ninth, walk-off home run off the first pitch he sees.  Or perhaps because it was the hardest hit home-run I've seen in years.  Though it didn't make the longest of this year, it might have it it weren't for the fact that it got stopped by the third (third!) deck.

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