Published January 13, 2015
Riding a Rocky Mountain High like none other, Colorado is heading to its first World Series.
With their 21st win in 22 games, the relentless Rockies beat the rattled Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 Monday night to sweep the NL championship series at a chilly Coors Field.
Matt Holliday's three-run, 452-foot shot into the pine-filled rock pile in center field capped a six-run outburst in the fourth inning, and the wild-card Rockies were on their way.
To where, they have a record eight days' rest to find out before opening the World Series at either Cleveland or Boston on Oct. 24. The Indians lead the ALCS 2-1.
"It was fun, this has been a great ride. We're not done yet," Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said. "We're going to keep it going."
The Rockies joined the 1976 Big Red Machine as the only teams to start a postseason with seven straight wins. Colorado has won 10 in row overall and lost only once since Sept. 16.
Just one strike from postseason elimination on the final weekend of the season, the Rockies have become a charmed team that seemingly cannot lose. This marked the sixth straight year that a wild-card club reached the World Series.
Colorado had never won more than 83 games before going 90-73 this season and sneaking into the playoffs with a 9-8, 13-inning win over San Diego in the wild-card tiebreaker. After sweeping Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs, the Rockies put a purple pummeling on a D-backs club that led the league with 90 victories.
"Once the sting of this subsides, we'll be able to reflect that we did have a great year," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.
Ahead 6-1, the Rockies withstood Chris Snyder's three-run homer in the eighth. Chris Young doubled with one out in the ninth off closer Manny Corpas, but Stephen Drew popped out on a 3-0 pitch.
Eric Byrnes followed with a checked-swing grounder that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki charged. His throw beat Byrnes' headfirst dive, and Helton threw his arms in the air.
"I can't believe it, what a crazy game," Helton said. "Emotionally, you can't say enough about this ballclub."
The Rockies are the first team since the 1935 Chicago Cubs to win at least 21 of 22 after Sept. 1, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Before this season, the Rockies had just one postseason victory, back in 1995, when they were eliminated by Atlanta in the first round.
Now, they're riding into the World Series with astonishing momentum — and to think, with two weeks left in the season, they stood in fourth place in the wild-card race and knew they had to win just about all their games to have a shot at extending their season.
Reliever Matt Herges, who resurrected his career in Colorado this summer, pitched two hitless innings for the win, and the Rockies' stellar bullpen closed it out — but not before Brian Fuentes surrendered Snyder's homer.
With the Rockies trailing 1-0 with two outs in the fourth and runners at second and third, manager Clint Hurdle made a bold move: He pulled his starting pitcher, rookie Franklin Morales, for a pinch-hitter.
Hurdle didn't have to worry about burning his bullpen because Game 5 wouldn't have been until Wednesday night.