News Forum Blogs Roster Players Schedule Depth chart Stats Videos Photos

Colorado Rockies News

News » ROCKIES 9, PADRES 6 One swing changes things Iannetta's grand slam spurs comeback win

ROCKIES 9, PADRES 6 One swing changes things Iannetta's grand slam spurs comeback win

ROCKIES 9, PADRES 6 One swing changes things Iannetta's grand slam spurs comeback win
SAN DIEGO - The Rockies weren't players. They were a band of Tom Sawyers.

Their death hasn't exactly been exaggerated, but they have been witnessing their own funeral during the past month. No Rockies team has ever opened with seven straight one-run losses, each a shovelful of dirt on their potential casket.

"I still think we have a good team, but we have work to do," manager Clint Hurdle said Monday. "We need to find a way when it comes to crunch time to make the good pitch, the good play, the good swing."

Staring at a wrenching loss, Chris Iannetta provided the type of jolt capable of waking this team from its coma, smashing a seventh-inning grand slam in the Rockies' 9-6 victory at Petco Park.

"We needed a game like this where we came from behind, found a way to win," shortstop Troy Tulo-

witzki said. "You could tell it was gone when the crowd all stood up."

It is impossible to overstate the importance or impressiveness of the catcher's hack. The Rockies were numb, frustrated and angry. They squandered a 5-3 lead, Jorge De La Rosa losing his temper after allowing a three-run home run to Scott Hairston. The left-hander erupted, throwing his arms in the air on contact before ultimately yelling expletives and kicking the dugout stairs.

That scene could have eloquently explained the season. But Iannetta photo-shopped it out with one swing. It went down like this. The Padres' bullpen, made up of castoffs and unknowns, turned to a familiar name: Cla Meredith.

He practically won the National League West in 2006 with his setup work. That pitcher, compared loosely to Dan Quisenberry, no longer exists. Naked without his 92 mph fastball, the sidearmer tried to sneak an 86 mph heater past Iannetta.

The sound of the bat told the story. It was the Baseball equivalent of Manny Pacquiao's left hook to Ricky Hatton's jaw. Replays of that fight brought oohs from Rockies players before the game. Iannetta's 385-foot shot created a collective gasp from the intimate paid gathering of 14,717, smallest in San Diego this season.

It was the Rockies' first grand slam of the season, coming on the anniversary of the franchise's inaugural slam in 1993. Back then, the moments were a novelty. This shot was a necessity for a team that has spent the first month burying itself in the National League West.

That this game required nervy dramatics is hard to explain. De La Rosa managed to give up six runs despite allowing just three hits. Simply put, he maximized his mistakes. He committed his third error of the season on a third-inning sacrifice bunt. He's tied for the Rockies' lead among all players, and has more errors than 12 National League pitching staffs.

The gaffe led to three unearned runs. His last chance at his first victory since Sept. 25 vanished in the fifth.

With two runners aboard, De La Rosa served up a 92 mph fastball to Hairston that disappeared into the left-field seats. De La Rosa threw his arms in the air, wondering aloud at what he had done. In the dugout moments later, he struggled to compose himself.

That fury was soon forgotten because of Iannetta's fist of power.

Troy E. Renck: 303-954-1301 or

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 5, 2009

Colorado Rockies Photos
All the latest Colorado Rockies Photos Store photographs. Major League Baseball MLB.
The most recent photo
Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe in NewsGator Online
Add to Windows Live

Copyright ©, Inc. All rights reserved 2008.