Rockies walk off in 10th to sweep doubleheader
DENVER -- Jordan Pacheco richly deserved his time in the sauna and hot tub in the home clubhouse at Coors Field on Tuesday night.
To earn the warm luxury, Pacheco delivered a walk-off RBI single with two outs in the 10th to climax a comeback from a six-run deficit and ice a 9-8 victory over the Mets in Game 2 to complete a doubleheader sweep. Colorado won Game 1, 8-4.
"When you're in that situation, you just want to get it over with," Pacheco said. "I'm glad it worked out.
The Rockies had the home-ice advantage for two of the coldest games in franchise history. The temperature was 39 degrees, tied for 10th lowest in club history, at the start of Game 1. The 34-degree temp to start the nightcap was fourth lowest at either Mile High Stadium or Coors Field, and light snow fell during the late innings.
The four-game series continues Wednesday and Thursday, although snow is predicted before game time Wednesday.
Carlos Gonzalez drew a 10th-inning walk with two outs from right-hander Greg Burke (0-1) and Michael Cuddyer reached on a single to set up Pacheco, whose hit through the right side made a winner of Rafael Betancourt (1-0). The Rockies (10-4) have their second five-game winning streak of the season. They're also first in the National League West in a season that's in its infancy, but after a club-record 98 losses last season, the Rockies believe they deserve to enjoy the good parts of a new journey.
"It was the best worst day ever," said Gonzalez, who joined Cuddyer, third baseman Chris Nelson and center fielder Eric Young Jr. as the Rockies who were on the field for all of both games.
"Games like this get out of your hands when you think about how bad it is outside," Gonzalez said. "We were able to stay patient, always believing we would always come back in this game. Games like this are games that are going to take you far."
Three early errors, one by shortstop Reid Brignac and two by catcher Yorvit Torrealba, as well as less-than-sharp pitching from starter Jeff Francis (nine hits, eight runs -- six earned -- in 4 1/3 innings) allowed the Mets to get an 8-2 lead entering the bottom of the fifth.
"It speaks volumes about our club," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "These guys compete. They enjoy competing, even in extremely difficult conditions. Getting down by six, they found a way to win a game."
The Rockies responded with a four-run fifth. With one out, Pacheco drew a bases-loaded walk from Mets reliever Josh Edgin. Nelson then added a sacrifice fly and Torrealba hit a two-run double against LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins fanned Brignac to end the frame.
The Rockies used smart play, and two Mets errors, to tie the game in the eighth. Pitcher Brandon Lyon let Josh Rutledge's grounder bounce off his glove with two outs. With the Mets' infield shifted heavily to the right side, Gonzalez tapped a Scott Rice pitch down the third-base line for a single.
The tying runs scored when Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada threw wildly to first after fielding Cuddyer's bouncer. It was Tejada's sixth error in 13 games, after making just 12 all last season.
"As a shortstop, I can feel for a guy like Tejada," said Weiss, whose long playing career at the position included four seasons in at-times difficult conditions with the Rockies. "By that point you can't even feel your fingers."
Tejada didn't offer the cold as an alibi.
"I have to do something to try to stay ready for every ground ball, every throw," he said. "It's really cold, but it's no excuse."
It could have been a cold night for the Rockies had Pacheco, who went 3-for-5 to lift his batting average 82 points to .304, not come through. Weiss had used all of his offensive substitutions.
"If you're looking for a guy to get a hit to win a game, he's near the top of the list," Weiss said. "He handles the bat so well. It's a tough at-bat for a right-handed hitter off of Burke."