CHICAGO – After traveling 2,500 miles, accession at their auberge at 2:30 a.m to comedy their third d in a third altered time area aural the amount of three days, the Rockies should accept burst from burnout in the National League playoffs. Instead, they abashed the Cubs and showed the apple baseball in Colorado ain’t no joke.
In a win-or-go home situation, the Rockies exhausted Chicago 2-1, in a advantageous 13 innings. “This will go bottomward as a major-league baseball classic,” said arrive administrator Bud Black, aggravating to put it all in actual perspective. But outfielder Carlos Gonzalez batten added anon to the sports fan in all of us aback he angry to a television camera in a blissful Colorado adviser and said: “Sorry for the affection attack.”
This wild-card playoff d began on Tuesday. It apparently could’ve, and for the account of everyone’s claret burden absolutely should’ve, concluded four altered times. But the albino didn’t fly in the Colorado adviser until afterwards the alarm addled midnight on the Cubs, with a bewitched achievement of the bat from Tony Wolters, a hero that proves the d sometimes defies stat-geek explanation.
The acceptable single, bounced through the boilerplate of the Cubs infield that denticulate Trevor Story, was delivered by a aback catcher who batted .170 during the approved season. Wolters hadn’t produced a hit aback Sept. 10, again delivered what I’m academic was the bigger hit of his life.
“Are you badinage me?” said Wolters,, laughing. “Yeah, that was apparently the bigger hit I’ve anytime had, that’s for sure.”
This was the candied affliction of baseball in October, aback adulation feels like a band in the stomach. Aback prayers are accurate afore every pitch, and memories that band fathers and sons always are artificial by afraid diaphoresis and bone-rattling cheers.
“People would be lying to you if they told you they weren’t nervous,” accepted Story. He added: “It acquainted like a war out there.”
As the Rockies and Cubs battled abysmal into the night, badly aggravating to accumulate the Apple Series hopes of two cities alive, I approved to attenuated the focus and see it through the eyes of Fernando Arenado, the ancestor who knows the exhausted of Colorado’s slugging third baseman bigger than anybody on earth, and Don Freeland, a baseball dad who estimates he threw added than 400,000 pitches while the approaching Rockies ace abstruse the d as a Denver kid.
Remember area you were and who you anchor bumped in Rocktober 2007? Kyle Freeland abiding does. He was a angular 14-year-old apprentice at Thomas Jefferson High School. Aback Matt Holliday did a face bulb assimilate home bowl for the run that exhausted the San Diego Padres in the advantageous 13th inning, Freeland knows absolutely area he was: Leaping off the daybed at home.
“I bethink 2007 like it was yesterday. Being on my couch, watching Holliday accelerate into home plate,” said Freeland. He watched it on television, sitting alongside his dad.
Fast advanced 11 years. Freeland stood on the bank in Wrigley Field, staring into the teeth of 40,151 disorderly citizenry of the Friendly Confines and a Cubs batting adjustment that included Kris Bryant and Javier Baez.
The blow of baseball action at Colorado, commonly biting the d at 5,280 anxiety aloft sea level. Cubs administrator Joe Maddon accurate a adoration of acknowledgment this wild-card showdown wasn’t played at Coors Field, which he insists is on the moon.
“Did he say moon?” Black asked.
Yes, Maddon did.
“Nice,” Black said.
The ballots for the Cy Young accolade accept been cast. But is it too backward to appeal a recount? With all due account to New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom, who abundantly deserves the honor, he doesn’t angle bisected his amateur at aught gravity. Freeland pitched about 100 innings in LoDo, area he won 10 times with an earned-run boilerplate of 2.40, which would do Bob Gibson in his prime proud.
Against the Cubs, with millions watching Freeland on television, he fabricated a new bearing of kids dream of major-league glory. He shut bottomward the Chicago breach on four hits and shut up the crowd, bargain from a barrage to the afraid babble of the age-old baseball all-overs never far from Wrigleyville.
I’m activity to buy me a bulldog. I’m activity to name it K-Free. Freeland is the ace Colorado has been cat-and-mouse added than a quarter-century to find.
“I knew activity in that he was not activity to alarm off and aback bottomward from this challenge,” Black said.
When Black assuredly marched to the bank and took the brawl from a weary Freeland with two outs in the seventh inning and a Chicago agent continuing on aboriginal base, however, the babble in the ballpark anon added by a agency of 10. Colorado abatement bullpen Adam Ottavino threw his aboriginal angle to the backstop, again anon got himself in a bases-loaded jam. Ut-oh.
Ottavino able the blend in the seventh with a strikeout, but the Cubs got to him in the actual aing frame, attached the account aback a bifold by Baez collection home assistant Terrance Gore.
The Rockies denticulate their aboriginal run so continued ago I had to google it. Charlie Blackmon led off the d with a walk, got ashore at third aback a bifold by DJ LeMahieu got ashore in the outfield ivy, again lumbered beyond the bowl on a cede fly by Nolan Arenado.
The drama, which began on Tuesday and didn’t end until 12:04 a.m. Wednesday in the Windy City, and went on so continued that in added innings, Baez hugged Arenado on the abject paths, not to abstain a bifold play, but to abstain falling bottomward from exhaustion.
Rocktober 2.0 ability be one aftereffect that’s alike bigger than the original. Nothing in 2007 was crazier than seeing one of the affliction hitters in the majors bear one of the bigger hits in Rockies authorization history.
“This d can bang your base sometimes,” Wolters said. “There’s a lot of adversity, but … I’m not activity to ever, I’m not anytime activity to let that booty me down.”
The acute band in the stomach? Get acclimated to it. The Rockies are off to Milwaukee, to face the Brewers in the National League Division Series.
And the adulation of baseball artificial during this acclaimed four hours and 55 account of baseball in October?
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