Street Suffers A Bitter Loss

October 12, 2009 | 11:06 pm | 26  

Rockies closer Huston Street was standing at his locker, being very forthright about a very painful ninth inning Monday. General manager Dan O’Dowd interrupted the give-and-take, hugged Street and said, “We wouldn’t have been here without you. You did a hell of a job.”

The Rockies and, in particular, Street weren’t expecting words of solace. Not after a stunning three-run rally in the eighth gave the Rockies a 4-2 lead in Game 4 of the National League Division Series. Not with Street, who went 35-for-37 in save opportunities during the regular season, taking the mound and this NLDS seemingly headed back to Citizens Bank Park for a winner-take-all fifth game.

Deflating ninth innings were rare for the Rockies this year, the kind where the game disintegrates into a shambles and certain victory is replaced by bitter heartbreak. That anguish has hovered over the Phillies, whether it’s Brad Lidge blowing 11 saves en route to a 7.21 ERA this year after his season of perfection in 2008 or Mitch Williams following a thrill-a-minute path, sometimes to a save and sometimes not.

The Rockies went 45-0 at home during the 2009 regular season when leading after eight innings. They had parlayed an Edwin Moses leap by Dexter Fowler over the left shoulder of second baseman Chase Utley into a three-run rally that included a game-tying single by pinch-hitter Jason Giambi and a two-run double by Yorvit Torrealba before turning the game over to Street.

“You think you have the game in your hands, and they drop three on you,” said Troy Tulowitzki who struck out on five pitches from Lidge, all sliders, to end the game with runners at first and second. “But we had an opportunity at the end; that’s all you can ask for. But it does make it a little tougher.”

Street’s ordeal began with one out, when Jimmy Rollins reached on an infield single. Shane Victorino hit into a fielder’s choice, took second on defensive indifference and Street went to 3-2 on Utley before throwing a changeup that missed for ball four.

“I’d thrown him all fastballs,” Street said. “So I thought a change of pace was in order. I’ve been controlling my changeup so well all day that it really felt like a good pitch to go with. I had a base open. Utley’s a guy you respect up there and (Ryan) Howard on deck _ pick your poison, really.”

Howard yanked a 2-1 pitch to right field for a two-run double and Jayson Werth followed with a single that gave the Phillies their 5-4 victory margin and finished Street.

“It didn’t happen tonight, and it’s obviously disappointing,” Street said. “I can’t really even put it into words what I feel right now.”

Street said falling behind Howard didn’t help and threw him the fourth fastball in a row on the pitch Howard hit for a double.

“Did I make the best pitch I could make? No,” Street said. “Was it a bad pitch? No…They’re a good team. We’re a good team. I think that’s what makes this hurt so much is the expectations we did have for ourselves and for me personally. You obviously felt like it was right there. You felt like you let the boys down.”

As Street spoke, pitcher Jason Marquis was packing a box a locker away. He can be a free agent and likely will not be resigned by the Rockies, a first-time All-Star who faltered again in the second half and ended up pitching one inning in relief in Game 1.
Street will be back, perhaps with a multi-year contract that could head off free agency after the 2010 season.

Street, 26, has 129 career saves and a bright future, most likely for years to come with the Rockies. The future was a dot on the horizon for Street, something fuzzy and vague simply because of the pall of the present.

“We stood toe-to-toe with the defending world champions,” he said. “It didn’t happen for a number of reasons. I take full responsibility for there not being a Game 5 and not keeping us alive, not giving the guys a chance.”

Before Street stood and faced the assembled media members at his locker, fellow reliever Matt Daley came over to Street, who was still seated, tousled Street’s hair and gave him a hug. Daley was one of many teammates, who tried to comfort Street.

“It all helps and none of it helps,” Street said. “You have to deal with it in your own way…I wish it wasn’t me. I wish it was one of them on the other side. I guess if there’s anything, I’d rather what happened tonight happen to me because I know I can handle it.”

26 Comments »

  • Dave in Louisiana | October 12, 2009 | 11:18 pm

    Thanks for a great season, guys. As a Rockies fan since 1995, when I relocated to Colorado, I think I can say this was the best full season of Rockies baseball I’ve had the privilege of watching. My hat’s off to all of you guys.

  • fred | October 12, 2009 | 11:41 pm

    The Rockies had a special year and without Huston Street they would have not been any playoff games. So hang your head high Huston. All this can do is make this ball club more hungry for next year.

  • Dr. Christopher Morton | October 13, 2009 | 12:21 am

    Huston, if you read these posts know Rockies fans are still behind you. As Fred said, we would never have been there if had not been for your season. I remember the DBacks 2001 WS win, they got the Game 7 off of the greatest closer of all time, Mr. Mariano Rivera. It happens. We welcome you back with cheers the first time you close out next season – and this time we win the West.

  • David Martin | October 13, 2009 | 12:26 am

    Class act by Dan O’Dowd. He could have been a jerk, but he knew that Street got them there. This team is a class act. What a season! It was amazing to watch this team day in and day out. They truly define what it is to be a team. Can’t wait for 2010!

  • Karl | October 13, 2009 | 6:25 am

    A thrilling season to the end, the lows and the highs and then it’s over. Wow what a ride. Well done guys. Always can wish for more and maybe it gives you a reason in the offseason workouts how this one ended. But well done. No reason to hang any heads. Class act by O’Dowd and Street, as has been said, wouldn’t be to this point without you. What a series of games and what a fun season.

  • ProgMatinee | October 13, 2009 | 7:26 am

    Street might be remembered as the goat for this series, but that pleasant little spotlight should be squarely directed towards Barmes, IMO. Drug the team down offensively big time and I didn’t find his defense all too great either in this series.

    Anyway, what a sad end to a great season, but it was a great season.

  • Jonathan | October 13, 2009 | 9:19 am

    I agree about Barmes. A complete rally killer and waste of a bat every time he came up to the plate in this series. The only reason he kept getting so much playing time this year was his stellar defense, which, in this series, was far from the case.

  • Rockies Chick | October 13, 2009 | 10:12 am

    Thanks for a great season Rockies! I have been a fan of the game for about 30 years and this has been my favorite season so far. Enjoy the fruits of the season Cargo, Fowler, EY Jr, De La Rosa, Helton’s great comeback and turn your eye to the future and another return to the post season in 2010!

  • Liz | October 13, 2009 | 11:33 am

    Yes, thanks for the wonderful season. Next year is our year. Street and Iannetta are still my babies and will be back with wonderful stuff next season.

  • ProgMatinee | October 13, 2009 | 11:39 am

    Iannetta and Stewart BETTER have good years because I’m pretty sure Torrealba and Atkins won’t be there to pick it up for them.

  • Marcus | October 13, 2009 | 12:00 pm

    I think most of the true Rockies fans, although very heart broken right now, know that this team is set up to do some special things next season. Now they not only have a boat load of talent, they also have more experience and a great hunger after a bitter loss.

    Things to look foward to:
    1. EY Jr. full time
    2. Rotation compitition, depth, and domination
    3. Emergence of Cargo, Fowler, and Tulo into stardom.
    4. Solid Closer (I still love you Street!!! :)

    Things they need:
    Sign Giambi and a
    POWER HITTING, RIGHT HANDED, LEFT FIELDER!!!!!!!!!!

    Spilly, Smith,and Hawpe are not the answer.

    Perhaps there is a guy that recently lost a game when the ball hit him in the nuts that the Rockies could sign?

  • ProgMatinee | October 13, 2009 | 12:19 pm

    I would love to see Holliday back, but Smith deserves to play everyday.

    Next years lineup projects to me:

    Gonzales
    Fowler
    Helton
    Tulo
    Stewart
    Smith
    Ianetta
    EYJ or Barmes

    Major losses include Atkins, Hawpe, Torrealba and possibly Spilborghs and Barmes.

    I think Marquis is gone as well.

    Thats more change than we had after 2007. So IMO there is major cause for concern that this team tanks like they did in 08. Hopefully what we learned from 08 was that we can’t string along the team with uncertainty. If Hawpe is to be traded it must happen over the offseason.

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Hawpe and Barmes be shipped out together for a pitcher or 2. And honestly, I’m willing to give Atkins another contract if trading Stewart can net us a premier pitcher.

    I like Ubaldo, but we can’t call anyone an ace that loses double digit games. We need that Cliff Lee or Lincicum that is as close to guaranteed as can be.

  • robba | October 13, 2009 | 1:25 pm

    Cowboy, Jack and Steve, thanks for this wonderful website, and for being so available and interacting with us. You’ve helped make this season memorable and fun.

    On to next year.

    What I’m wondering is, what has happened to the Clint Barmes I saw in his first September callups in 2003 and 2004. He was hitting line drive shots all over the park. I hope he and a hitting coach (maybe not Baylor) have access to videos of those AB’s, and can diagnose what’s gone wrong this year. He is so good defensively, but has to hit .270 or better in order to be the long-term answer. EY may hit, but he’s suspect defensively. I see him taking Q’s role, but being more productive at the plate and with his speed.

    Sorry, Brad and Garrett, but you’re going to have to resurrect your careers somewhere else. And I think you will be successful in doing so.

    I am stoked at the prospect of having Francis, Buchholz, and Corpas back and healthy, and watching the young AAA and AA arms get better. Building around Cook, Jiminez, DLR, Morales, and even Hammel, that sounds like a playoff-level group of starters.

    Biggest Need: A RH power hitter who can play RF well enough not to be a defensive liability. Somebody who can hit a solid, consistent .280 and drive in 80 runs or more.

  • Robb | October 13, 2009 | 1:32 pm

    The big thing to me in the series was the lack of a big hit, especially early in Games 1 & 3. Even though Lee tossed a complete game in #1, the Rockies had traffic in the first two innnings. And, they had Happ on the ropes in #3 and couldn’t put him away. Great season and a ton of fun. Marquis is gone for sure; Atkins, too. Hawpe/Torreabla/Barmes remain to be seen. I would keep Spilly for many reasons and Smith, too. Both are excellent bench and clubhouse guys.

  • Wayne | October 13, 2009 | 1:37 pm

    Just want to thank the Rockies entire org for a great, fun, rollercoaster, edge of the seat seaon.

    As Giamati said “It will break your heart, it was designed to break your heart”

    Thanks to ITR and all the people who posted here everyday. I hope the site keeps going, and I’ll check it everyday to see what’s up. Let’s keep the conversations going over the winter. If pitchers/catchers report on 2-12-10 (I hope) then we only have 122 days.

    Thanks to all of you and I hope to be reading some good stuff over the next few months.

    No haters allowed here. Go Rox!!!!

  • Cisco Kid | October 13, 2009 | 2:03 pm

    Any chance the Rox will have any interest in Jemaine Dye? I know he won’t resign with Chicago WS, but will his price tag be too steep? If we can get him for the same $$$ as we would pay Hawpe, why not trade Hawpe and sign Dye. He’s a great clubhouse guy with post-season experience and would fill the Rox need for a RH power outfielder.

  • Storch | October 13, 2009 | 2:36 pm

    It’s all about Suffering . \

    Great Season Rox’s

    Great Season Rockies Fans.

    Rockies fans
    We have all grown this season.
    We’re all stronger for yesterday history making game @ Coors Field.
    More history was made at Coors Field this year .
    Walk off Grand Slams
    Heltons’sDoubles
    Cards Clinch
    Rox’s Clinch
    Phils Clinch
    alright not all of it good
    but it is this kind if
    stuff that will get us as fans and a team worthy if the title
    World champs.
    Showing up strong.
    We are all stronger for suffering thur this.
    We will all be that much stronger next year.

    We need a bat to combat the leftys with that
    Watch out This theam has only just begun.

    Rockies WS Champs 2010

  • Rocks and O's | October 13, 2009 | 2:58 pm

    Great year, Rocks!

    Yes the end was disappointing, but really we went toe to toe with the defending World Champs and 3 of the 4 games went right down to the wire. That’s nothing to be ashamed of, for Huston Street, or anyone else on the team.

    I’ve been a Rockies fan for about 10 years now and a baseball fan a lot longer. 2007 was a thrill I’ll never forget but this has been the first year that I’ve seen the Rockies play consistently good, fundamental baseball over a long period of time. 5 starters with 10 wins says a lot, especially having to pick up two arms due to injuries. The defense was solid. The hitting was a bit streaky, but good enough to get the job done most days. I think the streakiness is a sign of a young team with lots of potential and that it’ll improve as players mature a bit.

    This organization clearly has a long-term plan that’s realistic for our market size, has capable people executing it, and it’s working. Look around the front offices of baseball and you’ll see how rare that is. The challenge for 2010 is to play an entire season of solid, fundamental baseball, from April till October, and thereby win the division.

    The last two losses are a bitter pill to swallow, but when you put things in perspective, this is a great time to be a Rockies fan!

    Finally, thanks to Tracy Ringolsby and the staff of insidetherockies.com for providing this site and to the people who take the time to write the kind of thoughtful and friendly comments you just don’t see at the more mainstream sites.

  • Rockpile | October 13, 2009 | 5:32 pm

    Nothing I can say here that hasn’t been said. I’ll just say that I’m proud of my team no matter what. Kudos: Jim Tracy, Rox team, GM O’Dowd, ownership, scouts, minor league coaches and players and the beer guy at the field. Also Kudos to Tracy, Jack and this site.

  • james detheridge | October 13, 2009 | 6:53 pm

    I would like to congratulate to the team on a great season. There are a lot of great memories. Tracy is manager of the year in my book for four months of work. I have to say that I hope some problems will be addressed for next year. The Monforts need to start spending some money to fill the Rockies holes to bring a winner to Denver. The farm system is fine but to expect to get 25 players that will get you to the World Series and win when you have them three years before free agency is not very realistic and an astronomical longshot at best. In 2007 the cosmos aligned for the Rockies. Something like this may happen every 100 years. Moves like Contreares is not going to do it. You are looking for something for nothing so you don’t have to spend money. PLEASE START SPENDING…Two, Baylor has got to go. From 5-8 in our lineup after the all-star break these guys were lucky to hit their weight. Baylor had 2.5 months to get them on track and they basically showed no improvement. Three…I don’t think we can win without a scary hitter in the lineup…Nobody in out lineup is scary…Holliday was that for us in 2007.

  • Trip | October 13, 2009 | 7:05 pm

    Great season over all. Thanks to the Rocks for a great show.

    For those out there that are disappointed, just remember when it’s all said and done Baseball is entertainment, pure and simple. And what an entertaining year it was. I remember writing in May I thought the season was already over and the Rocks should start looking forward to next year. Well, I have to admit I was wrong.
    The Rocks took us all on a magical ride didn’t they? To me, this was better than 2007 because it was 4 months in the making. Watching the games every day, coming here and chatting with other RockHeads. (I should patent that right now….. Everyone, you heard it from me here first. We could make hats in the shape of rocks…. hahahahaha)

    Oh I was not wrong about everything, the part about looking forward to next year, I was right on that score. I’m looking forward to next year even more now. It should be fun. And enteraining.

    WooHoo!!!!

    I’ll keep coming back here as well to see what the Rocks are doing to reload the roster and what everyones opinions are of those moves. I know many times I came here for the sole purpose to get others opinions. This is a great site for that. Thanks to the InsideTheRockies team for providing this forum.

    I expect we’ll lose a few friends over the off season, Atkins for example. I know he was derided this year, but don’t forget all the good times he has shown us in previous years. But with the emergence of Ian Stewart, the Rocks won’t be able to pay him what he is worth to other teams. And we’ll get a chance to welcome some new friends as well.

    Adios for now everyone. See you soon.

  • Julian | October 13, 2009 | 7:07 pm

    Like everyone else who has commented, I want to thank the writers for doing this site and the commenters for their great comments. It was been fun to read this website all year.

    And, although the last two losses were sad, the Rockies did have a great season and have a lot to be proud of.

    I think that the team can even be better next year and am looking forward to next April.

    Here are my votes for what should happen during the offseason:

    Let Atkins, Hawpe, Marquis, and Omar go.

    Let Stewart, CarGo, Fowler, and Smith be the starters in their positions. Keep Spilly as a backup outfielder and a right handed bat.

    Exercise the option on Bettancourt; he’s worth the $5,000,000 that the team will have to pay him.

    Try to resign Giambi. With Atkins gone, he becomes the backup to Helton as well as a pinch hitter.

    Resign Yorvit. We all hope that Chris improves over this year, but just in case he doesn’t, it would be great to have Yorvit back for another year.

    Enjoy a starting rotation of Ubaldo, Cookie, Francis, DLR, and Hamel, and a bullpen that includes Street, Bettancourt, Corpas, Buchholz, Daley, Belisle, Morales, and another leftie to be named later (Beimel?) (I know that’s probably one reliever too many). Figure out if Greg Smith and Greg Reynolds are ready to make a contribution next year.

    Keep Barmes for the defense, and hope that he hits another 23 home runs, and regains his batting average from the past. Have EY as his backup as well as an extra outfielder, along with Spilly.

    Find a backup third baseman who hits right handed and is a good pinch hitter.

  • Rockpile | October 13, 2009 | 7:58 pm

    Also. I forgot to thank Rox radio announcers Jeff Kingery and Jack Corrigan for the great job again this year. Kingery has officially retired once the Phillies series wrapped. Good luck, Jeff!

  • Da Rox | October 13, 2009 | 11:20 pm

    Any year the Rockies can make into the playoffs has to be considered a great year. Bad matchup though with Philly who kept throwing LH starters (Lee, Hamels & Happ) against a predominant best hitters are LH, with the exception of Tulo. I’m already personally planning who I “think” they should get to help next year. Would love seeing Holiday return next year and see the following lineup:

    CF Fowler
    RF Gonzalez
    LH Holiday
    1B Helton
    SS Tulo
    3B Stewart
    C Torrealba
    2B Young/Barmes

    Hope the obtain some good RH hitting talent of some kind to the OF or 2B. I’m looking forward to see what the Rockies management do in the offseason. I don’t think they need to do alot, but keep their young core team in place, trade a few guys like Atkins and Hawpe to pickup the pieces to help improve for their future.

  • jojo | October 14, 2009 | 10:54 pm

    It is so great to read in the paper how the writer’s now think O’Dowd has done a great job. I have felt it all along. So writers: stop the “hate” writing….not asking for “homers” just not so nasty!

  • WillM | October 15, 2009 | 8:42 am

    Thanks to the ITR guys.

    And thanks Wayne for the Giamatti quote – good read.