Tulo Riding High

August 11, 2009

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Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki had a magical night last night, recording five hits in five at bats, hitting for the cycle (a single, double, triple, and homer all in the same game), driving in seven runs and scoring two runs.  It was the type of night that he will remember forever.

Interestingly, his night could have been even better.  In the second inning of the game, Tulo (who had already homered in the first inning) hit a towering fly ball that soared an estimated twenty feet above the one hundred foot tall foul pole in left field.  The umpire immediately rule the ball foul.  The Rockies manager protested, and the call was reviewed via instant replay.

Unfortunately, the disputed play occurred at dusk, and it was difficult to determine whether the ball was fair or foul.  Thus, they had no option other than allowing the initial call of foul to stand.  Tulo did single home two runs in the at bat, but if the foul ball had been ruled a homer, it would have been a grand slam.  (Note: I find no fault on the part of the umpires – it was a tough call.)

In early June, Tulowitzki was mired in a season long slump, on the heels of a injury-marred and lackluster 2008 season.  When play began on the day of June 7, he was batting .216 with 5 homers and 16 RBI in 167 at bats (.683 OPS).  At that point, he found his stroke and has batted .324 with 16 homers and 44 RBI in 236 at bats over a span of 57 games (1.059 OPS).  During stretch of 62 games that encompasses those 57 games, the Rockies have gone 42-18 – rebounding from a 20-32 start to the year to find themselves with a record of 62-50.  The Rockies are atop the wild card race and a mere 5 ½ games behind the hated Dodgers in the National League West.

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