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Charlie Blackmon walks off on the champs

Patrick Lyons Avatar
July 26, 2018

DENVER – Charlie Blackmon hit a 435-foot shot that broke a 2-2 tie against the reigning World Series Champions Houston Astros in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Colorado Rockies a 3-2 walk-off victory.

Leading up to Blackmon’s first career walk-off homer, the game was a whirlwind of odd events played beneath ominous skies.

The Rockies got on the board in the bottom of the second thanks to Carlos Gonzalez’ 12th home run of the season, a solo shot over the high wall in right. He turned on a center-cut, 97-mph, two-seam fastball and deposited it into the Rockies bullpen.

It was CarGo’s 1,279th career base hit, pushing him past legendary Rockies outfielder Dante Bichette for third place all-time.

Houston’s pitchers did well to pitch out of jams on numerous occasions whenever Colorado threatened.

After the CarGo homer, Trevor Story followed up with a single and Garrett Hampson would later walk in the inning, but both base runners were squandered: Story was caught stealing and Hampson was picked off.

With two outs in the bottom of the third, Charlie Blackmon was hit by an 82-mph curveball on his left foot. Ian Desmond slapped a broken bat dribbler into short right field for a single, extending his hit streak to eleven games.

Jon Gray appeared effortless in the early going. In the first three innings, he only went to a full count once and threw an economical 32 pitches.

In the fourth, Gray would give up his only hit of the ballgame, the only the Astros would muster through nine innings.

Gray walked Alex Bregman, bringing the reigning AL MVP, Jose Altuve, to the plate. With a perfectly executed hit-and-run, Altuve lashed a double into the right-center gap to score Bregman and tie the game at one apiece.

Then, the Astros would take the lead after things got a bit strange, defensively.

Desmond made his fourth error of the season on a hard grounder by Yuli Gurriel and Tom Murphy was charged with an error for catcher’s interference during Josh Reddick’s at bat. A mishandled ground ball by Desmond off the bat of Marwin Gonzalez enabled Altuve to score easily and go ahead 2-1.

With those two defensive miscues, the Rockies made two errors on consecutive days for the first time all season.

The sixth inning featured the first bizarre occurrence.

Bregman hit a fly ball to left field for a triple that Gerardo Parra seemingly misjudged. Bud Black came out to speak to home plate umpire Jerry Layne about a potential fan interference. The Rockies challenged the play and after a review, the call was overturned and Bregman’s leadoff triple was ruled an out.

One inning later, another Rockies challenge went their way, overturning a stolen base by Kyle Tucker.

Two more runners were stranded in scoring position in the bottom of the sixth. Story and Parra drew walks and were moved up on Morton’s wild pitch. Rookie Garrett Hampson battled through an eight-pitch at-bat before succumbing to a strikeout via 82-mph curveball.

Tom Murphy blooped a single into right field off of reliever Joe Smith, who was immediately lifted for lefty Tony Sipp to face the left-handed hitting Raimel Tapia and Charlie Blackmon.

With runners on first and second, former Rockies pitcher Colin McHugh was summoned from the bullpen to face Desmond. The first baseman singled on a ball that escaped the reach of the new second baseman Gonzalez to load the bases.

In yet another unusual play, third baseman J.D. Davis caught an Arenado pop fly in foul territory and nearly fell into his team’s third base dugout. In the ensuing attempt by Astros teammates to push Davis back onto the field of play, Raimel Tapia tagged from third base and scored, tying the game, 2-2.

After the game, not a single Rockies player or staff had ever reported seeing a play like that in their life.

A Garrett Hampson triple over the head of centerfielder George Springer in the eighth also went nowhere.

Adam Ottavino dispatched the Astros on nine pitches in the eight and Wade Davis struck out two in the ninth.

That set the stage for Blackmon’s ninth-inning heroics.

With the win, the Rockies now find themselves at 55-47, just 1.5 games out of first place in the NL West.


Jon Gray: 7 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO, 97 pitches

Adam Ottavino: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO, 9 pitches

Wade Davis: (W, 1-3) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO, 23 pitches

Charlie Blackmon: 1-2, 2 BB, 1 R, 1 RBI, HR

Ian Desmond: 2-4

Carlos Gonzalez: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, HR

Tom Murphy: 2-4, 2B

Garrett Hampson: 1-3, 3B

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