If you missed this game, you missed an instant classic. This one had everything; a Rockies’ franchise record for strikeouts, lots of home runs, nonstop rain, extra innings.
And after rallying once, to take the 4-3 lead in the eighth inning, Colorado did it again, winning 5-4 in the 11th inning on Tuesday night. Mark Reynolds came through, hitting Trevor Story home to break the 4-4 tie in extras and give the Rockies the improbable come from behind victory.
After sailing through seven innings — striking out a career-high 17 batters — Chris Sale’s Boston Red Sox saw the Colorado Rockies come from behind at Fenway Park.
Sale was dominant for six innings, sitting down eight of the first nine he faced and his 17 total strikeouts in the game are second-most in Boston Red Sox history (Curt Schilling 20, twice). But, Sale gave up a huge home run to Nolan Arenado in the seventh and his relief man Brandon Workman gave up a two-run bomb in the next inning as well. That gave Colorado the 4-3 lead in the eighth.
Meanwhile, Kyle Freeland entered the oldest ballpark in the MLB as the Rockies’ ace, on his 26th birthday, looking for the win. Instead, he was more a spectator at the legendary Fenway Park, watching opposing starter Sale go wild. Until late.
Early on, Boston’s bats took three of Freeland’s pitches over the Green Monster for home runs, taking the 3-0 lead in the third inning. As Sale sailed through the game, whiffing many Rockies bats, Freeland picked up his pitching and disallowed any more runs.
After Freeland’s night was done in the seventh inning, Nolan Arenado went yard — again over the Green Monster — as Sale gave up a two-run home run. The next inning, Charlie Blackmon took Workman to the deepest part of Fenway to steal the lead at 4-3.
But, Scott Oberg allowed the Sox to tie up the Rox in the bottom of the eighth inning at 4-4. That’s where the game sat through nine innings as this one went into extras. And that’s when Reynolds was clutch for the win.
Let’s take a look at the takeaways:
Chris Sale was sensational
Sale rolled over the Rockies for most of the game, giving up a mere three hits while striking out 17 batters. Seventeen. Only Curt Schilling’s 20 Ks in two different games are more in the history of the storied Red Sox. The 17 strikeouts also tied a record for a single pitcher against the Rockies, as Randy Johnson enjoyed 17 Ks against the Rox back in 2002.
Alas, Sale gave up a single to Trevor Story and that was followed up by Arenado’s homer to make the game 3-2, Sox over the Rox. Partly because of that home run, and then coupled with Blackmon’s bomb the next inning, Sale didn’t earn the win despite possibly the best game he’s ever pitched. This game added onto his last performance, giving Sale 31 strikeouts and zero walks over the last two games, becoming only the second pitcher to do so (Dwight Gooden).
Colorado sets multiple records for strikeouts
The Rockies weren’t just bad in terms of striking out, they were historically awful. While Sale enjoyed 17 strikeouts, all of Boston’s combined pitchers totaled 21 strikeouts against Colorado batters in nine innings, which is a new franchise record. It surpasses the previous high of 18 Ks against the Los Angeles Angels in 2015. The striking out only continued as the game went to extras, hitting a new franchise record for any amount of innings with 24.
Also, six different players struck out three or more times, which was a new Major League Baseball record.
Home runs rule
The Colorado Rockies and Boston Red Sox combined for eight total runs in regulation of the Interleague game on Tuesday night, and the first seven of those runs came from home runs.
Freeland gave up his initial long ball in the second inning to Michael Chavis, a questionable call as the ball went not only over the Green Monster but also over the foul pole. That call was made on the field by the third base umpire and confirmed by replay. In the third inning, two more batters — J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers — took Freeland deep for the 3-0 lead.
Arenado smashed his home run over the Green Monster in left while Blackmon’s bomb went to left center and out in the eighth inning.
The last two runs, however, came off of regular, old hits instead of home runs.
Rockies show grit
Colorado could’ve folded, swinging and missing so many times to Sale, but Story and Arenado came through clutch when the team needed them to the most. That opened the door to the Red Sox’ bullpen, and the Rockies were all over the normally great Workman.
Chris Iannetta hit a double — about three inches short of a home run — off the monster, and then Chuck Nasty took Workman deep for the lead. Despite that resolve from the Rockies, Scott Oberg’s relief pitching left a lot to be desired as Boston tied the game up 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth.
However, they continued to battle into extras, where Story grounded into a fielder’s choice, Arenado walked and then Reynolds hit the go-ahead run across the plate.
This game was historical for multiple reasons and it could be a huge jumping off point for the Rockies on their current eight-game road trip.
Next up: Colorado (20-21) and Boston (22-20) face off tomorrow at Fenway Park for the second game of the two-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. MT.