The Chicago Cubs were just minding their own business, trailing by three runs with two outs in the eighth inning Friday night, when the Colorado Rockies decided to have an impromptu round of batting practice.
But could a batting practice ever be this successful?
The hits came and came and they kept on coming until the Rockies had strung together a major league record 11 in a row, and scored 12 runs, to put a Pike's Peak-sized cap on a 17-2 rout at Coors Field.
The Rockies batted around twice in the eighth — Carlos Gonzalez(notes) (pictured), Troy Tulowitzki(notes), Melvin Mora(notes) and Clint Barmes(notes) had two hits apiece — and Barmes was on deck for his third at-bat when the third out was made.
"I'd never seen an inning like that," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "We had two outs and two strikes on a hitter and they score 12 runs. I'd never seen an inning like that."
And it was a terrific collective display of hitting, to be sure. All of the balls were well-struck against relievers Sean Marshall(notes), Andrew Cashner(notes) and Brian Schlitter(notes). No bloops, no ducksnorts, nothing just finding holes — though the Rockies did swing well at a few pitches that were out of the strike zone.
"That was pretty impressive. There was really nothing flukey to it," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "Every ball that got hit was barreled up and hit about as hard as you'd like to see a baseball be hit."
Is Tracy kidding? Getting 11 hits in a row is the very definition of flukey. Fortunate. Lucky. It's practically divine providence. No lineup is that good — even against the Cubs — to rattle off 11 hits in a row. That's one of the reasons it's never been done before.
"It was as dumbfounding for us as it was for people [who] watch the game," Marshall said. "You hate to be on the receiving end. I don't think it's going to happen again."
Probably not soon. Line drives find gloves all of the time. Close pitches go one way or the other, or hit a batter in the arm. Heck, the Cubs were one pitch from getting out of the inning without the Rockies scoring at all. The line could have been broken at any time (and was, by Brad Hawpe's(notes) walk).
And Tracy's giving his hitters all the credit — as if they could go out and do it again today.
Although there was some doubt, even with two outs, as to whether the inning ever would end.
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