MILWAUKEE — Miracles ceased for the Rockies here Thursday in Game 1 of the National League division series.
The Brewers won in walk-off fashion, 3-2, in the tenth frame on microphone Moustakas’ two-out line drive single to right field off right-hander Adam Ottavino, marking Christian Yelich and causing the Miller Park crowd into a frenzy.
Yelich opened the tenth by drawing a walk after being down 0-2 to Ottavino. He advanced to second on Ottavino’s wild pitch and affected to third on pinch hitter Curtis Granderson’s groundout to short.
The Rockies were, as they have been all season, resilient. But this time it wasn’t enough.
Tuesday night, the Rockies beat the Cubs, 2-1, in 13 frames at Wrigley Field in the wild-card game to advance to the NLDS. But that magic did not make the 92-mile trip up I-94 from Chicago to Milwaukee, though the Rockies scraped out two runs in the ninth after managing just one hit through eight frames against a parade of Milwaukee relief pitchers.
In the ninth, the Rockies scored two runs off right-hander Jeremy Jeffress to tie the game. Pinch hitters Gerardo Parra and Matt Holliday started the rally with consecutive singles. Charlie Blackmon followed up with an RBI single to score Parra. Moments before, Blackmon came just inches from hit a double down the right field line, but it was subordinate a foul ball after a video replay.
Colorado’s rally was assisted by an error by shortstop Orlando Arcia, who shod DJ LeMahieu’s soft ground ball. Nolan Arenado’s sacrifice fly to center scored Garrett Hampson, who was running for Holliday, making it 2-2. With two baserunners on, Trevor Story smitten out to end the frame.
Until the ninth, it looked as if the only thing Milwaukee was going to need to win was a two-run home run by Yelich in the third frame. Yelich, the prohibitory favorite to be named NL MVP, exterminated a first-pitch, 85 mph changeup from Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela, driving it to deep left-center. Senzatela made the mistake of walking Lorenzo Cain to set the table for Yelich’s bomb.
Milwaukee choose to face the Rockies with Rockies with a “bullpen game.” The new term around baseball for it is “bullpenning.” Technically, Brandon Woodruff was the Brewers’ starter, and he inclined three successful frames before he was replaced by Corbin Burnes. He was alleviated by Corey Knebel, who was alleviated by kid Hader, who was alleviated by Jeffress. That Brewers’ ensemble smitten out 10.
Before the game, Rockies manager Bud Black was asked what he thought of the Brewers’ pitching approach.
“Philosophically, to answer that question in a couple sentences, I’m not sure whether this is thing that we’re going to see 10 years from now, 20 years from now, (or) next year, but I know it’s starting to happen,” he aforesaid. “Which tells us that there’s been a lot of thought put into this by a lot of teams and how to run a game or a pitching staff.”
- PHOTOS: Game 1 of the National League division series between the Rockies and Brewers