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DENVER – At some point, the act of scoreboard watching became taboo. Or, at least, admitting to the act did.
But, as manager Bud Black puts it, “They put a big beautiful scoreboard right there in right field…of course I look.”
The Colorado Rockies have not been shy about sharing that they have enjoyed a few recent losses for key opponents in the Wild Card and division races.
I happen to watch the conclusion of the Diamondbacks walk-off win over the Dodgers on Tuesday night, just a few blocks away from Coors Field at the Blake Street Tavern.
The crowd of locals, with just a hint of pain in their voices, erupted multiple times in chants of “Let’s go D-Backs! Let’s Go D-Backs!” They grew louder and louder, culminating when Eduardo Escobar blasted one into the night and put the Rockies back in the driver’s seat to at least force a Game 163 for all the division marbles in Los Angeles.
“We were watching it here,” Nolan Arenado told BSN Denver, referring to the Rockies clubhouse. “And yeah that was a big homer. That was cool to watch. It was a nice swing. Anytime you see the team that’s in front of you losing, you’re always a little bit happier.”
It’s an odd rollercoaster ride of emotions the game of baseball can put you through. One day you are elated to have knocked a team out of postseason contention, as they did to you a year ago. And the next you are rooting that team on to take out the big bullies of the division so that you might capture the title for the first time ever.
It can also be a tough balance between living in the reality that you need those game, outside of your control, to go a certain way, and making sure to keep your focus on the things you can control. Arenado says finding that balance has been the key to Colorado stringing together six consecutive wins immediately following a gut-punch sweep at the hands of the Dodgers in LA.
“At the same time,” Arenado says after admitting to enjoying the Dodgers and Cardinals losing, “We’re not worried about anybody but ourselves. I think that’s why we’re playing good baseball. It’s because we’re concerned about what we need to do out there. And hopefully we can continue to do that and we’ll be right where we need to be.”
Carlos Gonzalez was a little bit less reserved in his reaction, though his performance on Wednesday suggests he is no less focused.
“I watched the walk-off home run in my car,” says Gonzalez. “I had it on my cell phone.”
But then he took a step back to give the full context of the moment. And he did so quite candidly.
“We were watching the game here,” he said. “It’s 3-2 top of the ninth. We go shower. We tried to shower really quick. And then we were watching from that corner,” he said pointing to a section of the clubhouse where his locker used to be.
At this point, the Diamondbacks allowed a single, a stolen base, and an error to score a tying run, making it look certain Arizona was going to quite literally throw the game away.
“And then they tied the game,” CarGo continued. “So I was like ‘f@#k!‘ so then they go on to the bottom of the ninth…” the rhythm of his speech hastens, “And I’m like ‘I’m gonna go home. I’m starving. So on the way home, I had it on my phone, and as soon as I got in the car, Escobar hit that home run so then I was like…” at that point he just trailed off and began laughing with that trademark CarGo smile.