After playing roughly the first hundred games of last year with the Yankees before shutting it down with a bad back, Matt Holliday didn’t sign with anybody and instead did some local radio, worked out and spent time at home with his kids.
That man did it right; the Rockies came calling just last month and eventually signed the refreshed Holliday to a minor league deal with the plan of calling him up for a stretch run in September. He raked for eighteen games with Class-AAA Albuquerque and joined the Rockies a little earlier than expected last week when a roster spot opened up.
Now, he’s the latest pinch-hit bomb artist to inhabit Coors Field. He homered as a Rockies uniform for the first time in ten years last night, a game-tying solo shot in the seventh inning that got Colorado on the board and tied the game after St. Louis broke a scoreless tie in the top of the inning. I believe he was also wearing the nickname “Big Daddy” on the back of his jersey at the time. Like Jason Giambi years back, Holliday’s pinch-hit appearances for the pitcher late in the game are must-see TV.
Who knows what may have happened to the Rockies had Holliday not went deep. What happened when he did was that they went on to score eight in the eighth to break the 1–1 tie and win what was, for the most part, a pitcher’s duel. The rare ten-run under hit and rightfully so because both John Gant and German Marquez were fantastic.
The win got Colorado even in the loss column with St. Louis, half a game back and in position to knock the Cardinals from the top spot in the wild card with a win on Sunday afternoon. It also evened things up in the NL West after Arizona’s loss to Seattle.
I like the Rockies well enough, more than Milwaukee but not as quite as St. Louis because the Cardinals have even more pitching on the horizon with Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright coming back well-rested. Colorado feels like fair competition for the Dodgers because if Los Angeles sneaks in front of the Rockies in September, it will have earned it. The Rocks feel like a coin flip to an outside shot to get in.
Bud Black will start Tyler Anderson today. He must trust what he’s seen from his lefty’s stuff because this is a big game to throw a guy out there who has been knocked around for the last month or so. Anderson has only thrown one good start in his last five but I think he’ll reward his manager’s confidence with a nice outing today.
Austin Gomber on the other side has me leaning under and, of course, I’m taking the A’s as a pick this afternoon (who are these people betting on the Twins?) but I’m going to add the Rockies to the card as a small play because they know the importance of taking care of these important games at Coors.