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Must see: Tulowitzki scores winner from 1st base on shallow single

David Brown
Big League Stew

Only at cavernous Coors Field.

Ty Wigginton placed the ball in the best spot possible for a bloop single. Brent Lillibridge, coming in from deep center, approached the ball like it might bite him. And then, with his relative inexperience in the outfield still showing, he hesitated.

Troy Tulowitzki, hustling with two outs after getting a big jump from first base, did not hesitate after getting waved home by coach Rich Dauer.

These combined factors set up the Chicago White Sox to fail, and Tulowitzki's sprint ended safely with a slide at the plate, sending the Colorado Rockies to a 3-2 victory in 13 innings Tuesday night. Remarkably, it was the Rox's first victory in their final at-bat, and in extra innings, this season. (Didn't they use to do that for a living?)

The rest of the Rockies stormed the field and playfully pounded Wigginton, as if he were the one mostly responsible. They really should have been wailing on Tulo, or Dauer, or Lillibridge, or the guy who made it 415 feet to center at Coors.

An added irony for the White Sox: Manager Ozzie Guillen had removed usual center fielder Alex Rios in the seventh for loafing. Lillibridge, who has made some terrific outfield saves this season (mostly in right field), came into the game with 160 career innings logged in center. He's an infielder by trade.

Lillibridge tried to explain his approach:  {YSP:MORE}

"We're playing no doubles in one of the biggest ballparks in this league," Lillibridge [said]. "He (Wigginton) bloops it right in there behind second base, and the first thing I'm doing is sprinting in there. Once it stops, I have to make sure. I can't go in on a bare-hand sprint and miss the ball. I'm not going to make a mistake there. I'm going to make sure I get it."

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As the damning replay shows, Lillibridge wasn't sprinting. He wasn't loafing, either, but he was being tentative and acting unaware.

"It's just a weird, weird play that I've never seen or definitely haven't been a part of."

Agreed on that part. But the White Sox needed a real center fielder out there in the 13th. So, where can manager Ozzie Guillen turn? Guillen, who furiously and comically pirouetted from the dugout's top step to the tunnel moments after the game ended, was more focused on his team's repeated offensive shortcomings.

"That was the worst game we played all year long, to me," [...] Guillen said. "We don't take opportunities over and over and over and over. When you do that, the baseball gods get you."

Amen. But now, about center field...

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