Troy Tulowitzki outslugs Adrian Gonzalez in Rockies' victory

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For the fourth time since 2000, opposing players had at least two homers and five RBI in the same game as the Rockies topped the Padres 9-6 on Wednesday.
And both happened to be occupying the cleanup spot.
Troy Tulowitzki went 3-for-5 with two three-run homers and seven RBI to lead the Rockies, while Adrian Gonzalez finished 3-for-5 with a pair of homers and five RBI for the Padres, who entered the day hoping to finish a three-game sweep in Colorado.
That it happened at Coors Field should come as little surprise. So did one of the previous three such offensive demonstrations:
– May 12, 2000 – Jeffrey Hammonds went 3-for-4 with two homers and seven RBI to lead the Rockies to a 15-7 win over the Giants in Colorado. Armando Rios hit two homers off Rolando Arrojo to account for his five RBI for San Francisco.
– Aug. 26, 2006 – Albert Pujols homered twice and drove in seven runs for the Cardinals, but the Mets withstood the onslaught and won 8-7 thanks to two homers and five RBI from Carlos Delgado. Carlos Beltran hit a walkoff homer off Jason Isringhausen in the ninth.
– July 20, 2009 – Matt Holliday, in one of his final games with Oakland, had two homers, two doubles and six RBI as the A’s edged the Twins 14-13. Justin Morneau went 3-for-5 with two homers and seven RBI in the losing cause.
Colorado’s victory left the team 2 1/2 games back of the Padres in the NL West. The Giants, who play later tonight, are sandwiched in second place, one game behind San Diego.

The Cubs live for another day, but death will come soon

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The Cubs had a nice night last night. Javier Baez finally broke his hitless streak with not one but two homers. Willson Contreras hit a nearly 500-foot homer. Jake Arrieta, possibly pitching for the last time as a Cub, dug down for a gutsy performance, pitching into the seventh inning, working around some walks to allow only one run while striking out nine.

After the game, Cubs players sounded hopeful notes about believing in themselves, taking them one game at a time, getting the series back to L.A. for a Game 6 and Game 7. They’re professional athletes who know better than any of us that to achieve a thing you have to believe you can achieve that thing, so it’d be dumb to expect anything else from them in this situation. Ballplayers, quite admirably, don’t sound a note of defeat until they are actually defeated.

But let’s be realistic there: they’re still a dead team walking.

  • They’re dead because, as we have been reminded oh so many times, only once in 35 tries has a team come back to win a seven game series in which they’ve found themselves down 0-3. That team did so because Dave Roberts worked some magic. Dave Roberts is working for the other team now.
  • They’re dead because their biggest weakness this postseason — their bullpen — is not going to have its best pitcher, Wade Davis, available today in Game 5 after throwing 48 pitches in Game 4.
  • They’re dead because while the Dodgers used five relievers last night, none of them were worked particularly hard and neither Brandon Morrow nor Kenley Jansen were used at all, allowing them to come in and work hard and heavy tonight if need be.
  • They’re dead because the man on the mound to start tonight’s game is Clayton Edward Kershaw. Yes, he has had some less-than-glory-filled moments in the postseason in recent years, but all of those have come at the tail end of starts, when his managers have left him in perhaps an inning too long. See the above bullet point — and Dave Roberts’ early hook in Game 1 — if you think that’ll be a problem tonight.

The Dodgers lost last night, yes, but it was their first loss in the postseason. All teams have lost at least one postseason game since it went to the three-round format, so it was likely inevitable that L.A. would drop one. Heck, maybe they’ll drop two before the NLCS is over, but they’re not going to drop the next three in a row.

Last night’s Cubs win was nice for them, but it only delayed the inevitable.