Colorado Rockies

Colorado Rockies

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2007: "Rocktober" – A World Series berth

The Rockies trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the San Diego Padres for most of 2007 Major League Baseball season – however – by August, Colorado showed a steady series of wins, while the Division-leading Dodgers began to struggle.

By September, the Dodgers were eliminated by the Rockies from playoff contention, and the Diamondbacks were expected to clinch the National League West division title. The Padres held a steady lead on the National League wild card spot. The Diamondbacks eventually clinched the NL West division title, but the Rockies shot up with one of the greatest comebacks in baseball history. They were a major-league best 20–8 in September, after trailing 6 games on September 1. They won their last 14 of 15 games, including 11 in a row, the most of any team in the 2007 season and an all-time franchise record. The only loss during that streak was on September 28 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, a loss that clinched the Diamondbacks' playoff spot. Their 90–73 regular season mark set a franchise record. They also finished ahead of the Dodgers in the division for the first time in franchise history. Furthermore, Colorado set the single-season MLB record for fielding percentage by one team (.98925). Despite the Rockies record-setting performance, the National League coaches and players didn't vote in any of Colorado's players for the NL Gold Glove award. The two most puzzling omissions were first baseman Todd Helton and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Both players had a better fielding percentage, more total chances, better zone rating, more putouts, more double plays turned, better range factor and more assists than their counterparts who won the award instead (Chicago Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee and Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins). Helton also had fewer errors (2) than Lee (7), while Tulowitzki had as many errors as Rollins (11), but did so on 834 total chances compared to Rollins' 717.

As a result of the Rockies' remarkable September run, the team finished the regular season tied with the Padres for the National League wild card spot in the playoffs. The two teams played a wild card tie-breaker game at Coors Field on October 1 to determine the wild card. A Colorado home run was called back early in the game despite the fact that it clearly cleared the fence, hit a chair, and bounced back onto the field. The game lasted 13 innings, and although the Padres got two runs off of a Scott Hairston home run in the top of the 13th inning to break a 6–6 tie, the Rockies came back in the bottom of the 13th by scoring three runs off of closer Trevor Hoffman to win 9–8. Second baseman Kazuo Matsui started off the inning by hitting a double. Tulowitzki followed with a double of his own, thus, allowing Matsui to score. Left fielder Matt Holliday then came up to bat and hit a triple, scoring Tulowitzki. After an intentional walk to Helton, the Padres pitched to utility infielder Jamey Carroll, who then hit a sacrifice fly, allowing Holliday to score from third base. Holliday's winning run came off of a controversial slide in which home plate umpire Tim McClelland called Holliday safe, despite replays showing Holliday may have never touched the plate. McClelland educated the media and fans after the game as to the call: Padres catcher Michael Barrett blocked the plate before securing possession of the ball, resulting in an automatic ruling of safe and making Holliday's apparent failure to touch the plate irrelevant. The Rockies completed the fifth greatest regular season comeback in Major League Baseball history.