Rockies Magic Number Is Now 10

by John on October 4, 2007

Some things you can’t explain. You just feel them. That’s what is going on now with the Colorado Rockies. There’s some kind of cosmic convergence happening. The stars must be aligned just right and the planets tilted favorably. The baseball gods are definitely in the Rockies corner. With almost surgical precision, Colorado ace Jeff Francis went out yesterday and shut down the high-powered Philadelphia Phillies’ offense on four hits to propel the Rockies to a 4-2 win in the opening game of the National League division series. It was Colorado’s 15th win in its last 16 games. Francis struck out the first four batters he faced and eight during six innings of brilliant work. The lanky left hander mixed his pitches, changed speeds, and threw more curveballs than usual. The breaking balls were extremely effective in the late afternoon shadows cast at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park. “His breaking ball was much better today, sharper than in the past,” said Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba. “He was able to do what he wanted.” Francis did make two mistakes, yielding back-to-back solo home runs to Aaron Rowland and Pat Burrell in the fifth inning to narrow the gap to 3-2. Rockies MVP candidate Matt Holliday, his scraped chin from Monday night’s face plant at home plate still evident, provided a slight cushion, though, with a long solo home run in the sixth to conclude the scoring. Colorado manager Clint Hurdle furnished a hint of the calm confidence radiating throughout the organization when a reporter asked him the importance of winning Game 1 of a five-game series. Hurdle laughed and said, “I don’t know. I don’t have any experience to draw on. But I would think it would beat the heck out of losing Game 1.” Indeed.

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