DENVER -- Leo Nunez was one strike away from wrapping up a 4-3 victory over the Rockies on Monday when Dexter Fowler's bloop single changed everything. Not only did Fowler dump a single into no man's land in shallow center on a 3-2 pitch, but he ended up second after Greg Dobbs misfired on his rundown throw to first.
The result: Fowler scored the tying run on Carlos Gonzalez's two-out double off Nunez and, two batters later, Jason Giambi clubbed a three-run home run off Randy Choate for the walk-off victory at Coors Field.
"We made a mistake and that cost us the ballgame," said manager Jack McKeon, referring to Dobbs' throw.
Here's how Dobbs described it after Fowler singled and made an aggressive turn around first:
"Both middle infielders are running out on that play," said Dobbs, who was playing third. "Second base is vacated, so I'm sure (Fowler) was seeing that. It's my job to get there (to second) in that situation. We work on that and practice it. What surprised me was when I got the throw, when I turned to look at him out of the corner of my eye, he was running (back) to first. But then he stopped and turned as I'm in the motion of throwing it. So it threw me off."
Dobbs said he he released the ball as his arm was slowing to a halt, causing his throw to go wide to the left. First baseman Gaby Sanchez reached to his right to make the catch, but Fowler took advantage of the poor throw and made it to second.
"In retrospect, I should have just held the ball and ran at him," Dobbs said. "But I was thinking he was trying to get back to first. That's my instinct. At the last second, I saw him stop and looking at me. But I was already in the motion."
The inning deteriorated from there. Gonzalez doubled to score Fowler, Troy Tulowitzki was walked intentionally, and lefty specialist Choate was brought in to face Giambi, who fell homered to right for the win. Giambi had gone 0 for 5 in six career plate appearances against Choate before the home run.