The Rockies made a late season surge last all the way to the World Series
This one Padres fans remember quite well as the Padres were on the short end of the one game playoff stick. That doesn’t tell the whole story to that season though. Yes, the Rockies had to win 13 of 14 to force the wild card game playoff with the Padres, but they also had the best record in the National League since late May at 72-46 as reported by Patrick Saunders.
That Rockies squad was built largely on Todd Helton who hit .320 with 17 HR and 91 RBI, Troy Tulowitzki (in his first full season he hit .291 with 24 HR and 99 RBI), and the pitching was led by Jeff Francis, who was hoping to turn around 15 years of poor pitching in Colorado and shed the memories of contracts to Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle considered to be some of the worst in history. Francis went 17-8 with 164 strike-outs while Josh Fogg went 10-9 and earned the nickname “Dragon Slayer” for consistently defeating aces along the way to the World Series.
They were able to shed the fact that they could only win at home, as in September they finished the month with a 20-8 record. They went into San Diego the weekend of September 21st and swept the Padres, outscoring them 15-6. They took that momentum INTO Los Angeles and outscored them 21-11. They started the final regular season with a rare loss in Arizona before rebounding before an 11-1 pasting on Saturday and finishing things out with a must-win Sunday by doing so 4-3 to force Game 163.
Game 163 was played between the Padres and Rockies and in Colorado because the Rockies owned the season series. It was a back-and-forth battle and the Padres gained an advantage in the 13th inning. Unfortunately, Trevor Hoffman got completely blown apart in the inning and Matt Holliday slid in under the tag of Michael Barrett. As reported by Jeffrey Marcus, Holliday put it best when asked if he touched home plate, “Yea, the umpire called me safe.”
The Rockies swept their way into the World Series before getting swept themselves by the Boston Red Sox.
Next: 2011 Red Sox Collapse