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Comeback win could give Colorado confidence to conquer NL

Drew Creasman Avatar
April 30, 2017


There’s an old baseball saying that momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher. But there’s another old baseball saying about how as long as there is no clock in this game, a team with confidence in itself is capable of just about anything.

It’s tempting to frame the Colorado Rockies comeback win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night as a sign that they can compete with the elite’s in the National League and particularly its West Division. After all, coming into this series, the Rockies trailed Arizona by a half-game and for most of Saturday’s game, it looked like the two would do-si-do atop the standings.

But in April such things are meaningless. The wins themselves are not, those still count in the record books just the same as wins in September. But it’s also entirely possible that Arizona is nowhere near the top of the standings a few months from now. In fact, the same could be said for the Rockies.

What was a big deal, though, was the manner in which Colorado won the game. Down five late, down two in the ninth, it required a full team effort and some odd occurrences.

In what seemed like a minor moral victory with the team down at the time, Carlos Estevez stranded a runner at third after a lead-off, 3-base error occurred when Carlos Gonzalez uncharacteristically whiffed on a ball in right.

The big inning started with a pinch-hit single after a long at-bat from Pat Valaika who just joined the team a week ago and has since gone 3-for-4 in pinch-hit opportunities. He has provided the club a much-needed offensive threat off the bench.

Mark Reynolds isn’t in position to play hero late if not for his broken bat homer earlier in the game or Alexi Amarista‘s opposite field “blast” his first round-tripper since August of 2015. I’ll let you decide which of those two things was stranger.

And, of course, Gerardo Parra‘s game-saving-awe-inspiring-full-extension-diving-catch was the icing on the confidence cake. Greg Holland‘s icy veins in striking out Paul Goldschmidt, the cherry on top.

In many ways, these events are a bit random. A strict statistician would give little to no meaning to this kind of win if anything counting these rare moments of happenstance more as proof that the superior team did not win the game. And that may be. But the more confident team did.

After a game like that, the Rockies will believe that any game is winnable for at least a month. Why would they not believe in themselves? The lead the NL West at 16-9 are tied for the most wins in MLB just won in incredible fashion against a team that has been playing very well and has done all this without their ace, their fourth starter, a five-tool outfielder, their projected opening day first baseman, and two members of the bullpen.

Now the Rockies march forward as reinforcements arrive with the confidence to conquer the National League.



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