Anyone still wanting to make the claim that the Wild Card is bad for baseball? Didn’t think so. Because not only is it not bad, it’s awesome.
Yes, I get that a 162 game season deserves more than just a one-and-done, but damn these one-and-dones are awesome. Because they bring out some absolutely crazy scenarios – like Minnesota chasing Luis Severino after one out and still losing the game.
Or last night’s Rockies-Diamondbacks game. Because just like the AL Wild Card game, the fireworks started early, like when Paul Goldschmidt did this in the first inning.
Be honest, you thought the game was over at that point. And you really thought it was over when they stretched it to 4-0 in the second. With Zack Greinke dealing on the mound, you might have even thought about switching off the game when Daniel Descalso did this in the bottom of the third.
And if you thought that, you don’t know the Rockies, or Bud Black, or the wild card games, because it was just getting started. There’s no way that Colorado was going to grind for 162 games and then mail it in after three bad innings. And they didn’t.
Instead, they did what they’ve done all season: they went to work. One hit after another in the fourth inning to knock out Greinke and before the inning was over, it was a 6-4 game.
If that’s not a one and done, you don’t get that kind of drama and tension. You don’t get something like Arizona using likely LDS Game 1 starter Robbie Ray because if you don’t win this one, there is no LDS Game 1.
Colorado kept on chipping away and got it to 6-5 with two outs in the 7th and Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo turned to Archie Bradley, who got the final out. And that was just the start of the Archie Bradley Show.
Because he came up in the bottom of the 7th, with two on, and two out. And then this happened.
That’s career .098 hitter Archie Bradley roping a triple to deep left center and driving in two runs. Two-out hits will get you to heaven and that one made Archie Bradley an even bigger legend, if that was possible. To say that he went down to get that pitch is an understatement. He was one knee down, Adrian Beltre style, and he drove that to the wall. That ball took off and then Archie Bradley took off.
The smart thing might have been to stop at second and save his legs for pitching the next inning, but one-and-dones aren’t about the smart thing. They’re about going all out. They’re about Archie Bradley.
If anyone is worth of a government, it’s Archie Bradley, except that is his government. Archie N. Bradley. He’s not Archibald, or Archer, or Archard or Archimedes. He listed as just Archie. And that’s just awesome.
Almost as awesome as him sliding into third base, jumping up, ripping off his helmet and staring at the dugout and the stands, his massive beard rustling gently in the breeze left from sprint around the bases.
8-5 Diamondbacks after 7. That should’ve ended the game, right? Wrong. Because the Rockies kept on doing their thing. And with Bradley a little tired and winded on the mound, Nolan Arenado went deep. And Trevor Story followed right after him. And suddenly it’s 8-7.
So Arizona had to dig deep again, and they did. And they got it to 11-7. But still Colorado wouldn’t die. Ian Desmond singled to start off the top of the 9th and it felt like, here we go again. And he did score, but eventually, Fernando Rodney ended the game at 11-8, ending the Rockies season and setting off a celebration for the Diamondbacks.
Yeah, a champagne celebration after winning one game is kind of whack, but when you win one of those games, like that, soak the room. You’ve earned it. Take it from Arch: “Today’s awesome. Trust me, I’m really pumped we’re moving on. This is what you dream about. But at some point tonight we’re going to turn the page and realize this was one step of the process, one step of what we want to accomplish, and now it’s about going to play the Dodgers and finding a way to beat them.”
One hell of a win and after watching the way this crew played last night and in the second half of the season, especially against the Dodgers, they’re not done yet.