The September magic continued for the Colorado Rockies yesterday, as the team completed a four-game sweep of the Cincinnati Reds with a dramatic 6-5 win punctuated by one of the rarest plays in baseball. Utility infielder Chris Nelson, in the game as a pinch-runner for slugger Jason Giambi in the eighth inning, managed to steal home plate for the go-ahead run—the first time a Rockie has done so since 2006 and only the 15th time in club history, according to The Denver Post.
As Reds relief pitcher Nick Masset prepared to make his pitch, Nelson bolted from third base to home, catching the pitcher—and everybody else—by surprise.
“I just took off,” Nelson explains. “I knew I was going to make it.”
Manager Jim Tracy says he was nervous initially but realized Nelson was going to make it.
“It was just a complete mishap on my part,” Masset says. “It’s embarrassing.”
The gutsy move capped off a thrilling comeback victory, in which the Rockies were down 5-0 in the second inning (recap via Purple Row). The rally featured home runs by Giambi and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who has logged six home runs in the past seven games. Carlos Gonzalez’s 16-game hitting streak ended, but USA Today reminds us of the important role he’s played in the Rockies’ latest playoff run.
The Rox have now won seven in a row and trail in both the divisional and wild-card standings by three-and-a-half games (breakdown via MLB.com).