Even when it appears like a team that’s barely evaded 100 losses has little to play for in the final week of the season, the sport of baseball always finds a way to make each game important.

That was never more present this weekend at Dodger Stadium.

Colorado touched down in Los Angeles for a six-game set to close out 2022. 

Along with the Royals and Guardians who finish in the same fashion in Cleveland this week, this becomes the first six-game series to end a season in 84 years.

The Chicago White Sox hosted the St. Louis Browns at Comiskey Park to close out 1938 with a trifecta of doubleheaders after a series in early September was rained out for three consecutive days.

Hall of Famer Ted Lyons (no relation to the author) went all nine to win the opener on the first day before the second game ended in an hour and 35 minute tie. The sixth and final game of the series was a three-hit, six-inning shutout completed in just 57 minutes.

Saturday Night Dead: Loss, 6-4

The 10-1 defeat at the hands of the Dodgers on Friday was nearly a shutout thanks to another dominant performance by the Cooperstown bound Clayton Kershaw. 

Manager Dave Roberts had little interest or reason to go to his bullpen again with a 10-run lead.

Sep 30, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hanser Alberto (17) pitches during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

Roberts called upon his third baseman Hanser Alberto for the final three outs. Making his 10th appearance on the mound for L.A., he gave up a lone run and the Rockies avoided their 13th shutout of the year.

Colorado performed much better 24 hours later. Kyle Freeland struck out eight to tie a season-high and exited in the sixth-inning with a 4-1 lead.

Then came the seventh.

Oct 1, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland (21) throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Dinelson Lamet and Chad Smith combined to walk five consecutive hitters which contributed to the Dodgers tying the score.

It was only the second time in Rockies’ history with such futility (May 18, 1997) and the first in MLB since 2007.

Smith would walk another batter to mark only the fourth time the franchise has given six free passes in the same frame (last time: May 5, 2014) and first time in the Majors this season.

“That was not a Major League inning, I’ll put it that way,” Colorado manager Bud Black said of the performance in the seventh. “It was ugly. No doubt about it.”

It was the Rockies seventh-consecutive loss and fifth-straight since finishing their home slate of games on September 25.

Oct 1, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Joey Gallo (12) draws a bases loaded walk against the Colorado Rockies during the seventh inning at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers’ side suffered a somewhat embarrassing rarity during the eighth-inning.

After eight years, 748 games and 2,798 plate appearances, Joey Gallo recorded only the third sacrifice fly of his career to give L.A. a 5-4 lead.

Over the last 63 seasons, only one player had ever amassed at least 2,000 plate appearances with less than three sac flies. Ryan Freel, who had hit only 22 home runs during his eight-year career, recorded more stolen bases (143) than runs batted in (122). 

Sunday Funday: Win, 4-1

In his final start of the season, Germán Márquez was fantastic over six innings, striking out a season-high eight batters.

The 27-year-old walked three, but gave up only one base hit. In doing so, he passed Ubaldo Jiménez for the most starts (5) by a Rockies pitcher giving up just one hit over at least six innings of work.

The outing on Sunday also ensured Márquez had gone at least six frames in all 14 of his starts away from Coors Field, a franchise first. He posted a 3.43 ERA (94.1 IP, 36 ER) overall on the road this year.

Oct 2, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Colorado Rockies starting pitcher German Marquez (48) throws to the plate in the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

His last eight on the road were Quality Starts, most in a single season and tied for second-most consecutively with Brian Bohanon (July 31, 2000 to May 2, 2001). Jiménez, with 11-straight Quality Starts from Sept 20, 2000 to June 17, 2001), holds the mark.

Once Justin Lawrence held Los Angeles scoreless in the seventh, Black went to his closer for a rare two-inning save.

In the process of recording only the 51st save for a Rockies reliever of two outs or more, Daniel Bard struck out six Dodgers for all six outs.

It was only the fifth occurrence in MLB of such a performance (2+ inning save and all 6+ outs coming on strike out) since 1969 when the save became an official statistic.

With three more games in Southern California before Colorado goes into hibernation until the start of the 2023 season, you may have to watch all 27 innings or more. 

Especially if you want to watch something unique happen.