Normal was on temporary hiatus Tuesday night as the Colorado Rockies defeated the Cincinnati Reds in the second game of a three game series. The theme for the series thus far has to be ‘expect the unexpected’.
In game one, the detour from the standard came with the exit of Rockies’ starter and recent star Tyler Chatwood with triceps soreness, an injury that will cost him at least one start. With the Chatwood exit, one could expect the onset of chaos, but the Rockies bullpen came through in a gritty effort keeping the game competitive throughout.
On Tuesday night, the unusual would intensify. The Reds took a one-run lead in the seventh inning due to a balk, only to be one-upped by an eighth inning Troy Tulowitzki two-run shot on a 3-2 count that was anything but normal. The home run ball was caught by a Reds fan, requiring instant replay to determine if it was fan interference. After further review, Tulo would be Tuesday’s star for the Rockies.
The Tulowitzki blast was significant on a few levels. Not only did it secured a victory for Colorado, it saved tremendous embarrassment to Rockies’ reliever Edgmer Escalona, who was responsible for the Reds’ go-ahead score on the balk call in the previous inning. “Not so Top Ten” folks would have had a hay day with that one.
Tuesday’s pitching blunder was an exception certainly not the rule in a season where the Rockies pitching staff seems to consistently rise to mounting challenges. Juan Nicasio, who has experienced a rash of criticism this season for his inconsistency, really showed his mental toughness battling through innings with Reds runners occupying bases.
Josh Outman got the win for Colorado in relief and Rex Brothers, filling in for DL closer Rafael Betancourt, got the save.
The Rockies Reds rubber match will be Wednesday followed by a 10-game home stand for Colorado. This is a pivotal stretch for the Rockies, one that could have a significant impact, positive or negative, on the remainder of the Rockies season.