While many pundits expound on the Mets’ phenomenal collapse and the Phillies’ race to the top of the NL East, few had paid much attention to the rise of the Rockies to claim the NL wild card spot. The Rockies won 14 of their last 15 games, the last 14 of which came against division brethren. More importantly, those 14 were against teams that finished with winning records. You can’t say that about the Phillies. You can’t say that about the Cubs. You can’t even say that about the Mets, which makes their collapse even more mind-boggling. Give the Rockies their due. They had a great finish to the season against some tough customers and they had a miracle comeback last night.
Unfortunately that finish will come with an asterisk in the minds of some. It looked to me as if Matt Holiday did not touch home plate to score the winning run in the bottom of the 13th. His hand clearly was knocked off the plate by Padre catcher Michael Barrett and Holliday’s hand was blocked from the umpire’s view by Barrett’s foot. The umpire, judging by his delayed and casual call, wasn’t sure if he touched home plate. If he did, it was by the oil on his fingertips and it is tough to see how the umpire can give the benefit of the doubt to the Rockies. Maybe this is evidence of home team bias on the part of the umpire. Had the game been played in, say, the Canary Islands, would the call have been reversed? We’ll never know. Likewise, we will never know how the game would have played out had Holliday been called out.
Still, it was an exciting game and a great conclusion to the Rockies season.