No lead (or sprinkler system) was safe for the Padres and Rockies in the craziest series of the season
Compared to most other sports, baseball is unique in that it doesn't have a clock. A team can't protect a lead by slowing the game down and running time off: It still has to record outs to seal the win. Sure, a five-run lead in the eighth inning is pretty secure, but you never really know.
Just ask the Padres and Rockies, who combined for a record-setting 92 runs over a four-game series this weekend -- and added proof to the notion that no lead is truly safe in baseball.
When runs are coming that fast and that furious, a six-run lead in the ninth inning is no sure thing, something the Rockies learned the hard way on Friday night.
San Diego put up five more in the 12th to take the lead, and even though that ended up enough to win the game, they got a bit of a scare when Charlie Blackmon led off the bottom half with a home run. Even the safe leads didn't feel safe.
On Sunday, the Padres entered the seventh inning trailing by five runs. The road to scoring 14 runs in a game is often paved with weirdness, but even that doesn't quite prepare you to see the Padres take the lead after a pinch-hitting pitcher drew a bases-loaded walk.
When two teams combine for 92 runs over four games, you're almost guaranteed to get some mind-blowing individual performances. Fernando Tatis Jr. became the first player this season to record hits in seven consecutive at-bats, but that was overshadowed by teammate Hunter Renfroe, who hit five home runs in the series -- three in the Padres win Friday and two more in their comeback win on Sunday.
Yet, Renfroe's performance almost appears pedestrian next to that of Blackmon. Though he only hit four dingers in four games, Blackmon went 15-for-24 with two doubles and a triple.
With all those runs, it shouldn't be a surprise that the systems at Coors Field were overwhelmed. At the start of Sunday's 27-run game, the pipes predicted the flood of runs that was to follow:
A series that averages 23 runs per game -- and over 10 runs per team each game! -- isn't the same kind of baseball we're accustomed to seeing. Home runs were flying out of the park, foul territory flooded and no lead was large enough to rest easy. Ian Desmond had the only appropriate reaction to 39 innings of non-stop offense:
Eric Chesterton is a writer for MLB.com. He is an appreciator of the stolen base, the bunt against the shift and nearly every unconventional uniform design. He eagerly awaits Jamie Moyer's inevitable comeback.