You had to see it to believe it.
But you couldn’t see it. The game wasn’t televised.
So take our word that the events about to be described actually took place.
The final result was nothing out of the ordinary: the Dodgers fell to the Colorado Rockies, 7-6, in 13 innings.
But this was no ordinary defeat.
Aaron Miles, who is listed at 5 feet 8 in the Dodgers media guide, ended a 12th-inning stalemate by sending a ball at least 10 rows up the left-field stands. Sparingly used outfielder Trent Oeltjen added an insurance run in the inning with an inside-the-park home run.
However, the 6-4 lead evaporated in the bottom half of the inning when rookie closer Javy Guerra blew a save opportunity, his first blown save. Blake Hawksworth served up a run-scoring single to Dexter Fowler in the 13th inning and the Dodgers were back to 11 games under .500.
“We deserved to win that game,” Guerra said.
The Dodgers overcame significant obstacles to get as far as they did. Two players on the active roster, Casey Blake and Rod Barajas, were unavailable because of injuries. Another, Andre Ethier, was out of the starting lineup because of an infected toe. The team’s only healthy bench players were James Loney and Eugenio Velez.
Furthermore, left-hander Ted Lilly started the game with a stiff neck that limited him to 42/3 innings.
If it felt as if fate again was conspiring against the Dodgers, that ceased to be the case when Miles hit what was only his second home run this season. Any lingering doubts completely vanished when the ball struck by Oeltjen dipped under the glove of a diving Fowler in center field, making possible for Oeltjen to beat a throw home by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and score. Oeltjen said the inside-the-park home run was his first at any level.
“I kind of stumbled the last few steps,” Oeltjen said, laughing. “It was more of a flop than a slide.”
But Miles, who played in Colorado in 2004 and 2005, said he knew better than to think the game was over.
“At Coors Field,” Miles said, “the game’s never over.”
He was right.
Especially with Todd Helton at the plate.
Helton, who turned 38 on Saturday, battled Guerra for 15 pitches. He lined the last one into the right-field corner for a double that drove in Fowler and sent Tulowitzki to third base. Tulowitzki scored on a groundout by Eliezer Alfonzo to tie the score.
“Tip your hat to Todd Helton,” Miles said. “Man, what an at-bat. That ended up being the big at-bat of the game.”
The game was originally scheduled to be broadcasted nationally by Fox, which is why the start time was set for 1:10 p.m. PDT. But Fox dropped the game.
Because Fox held exclusive broadcasting rights from 1:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m., the only way it could have been televised was for it to be pushed back, which the Rockies didn’t want to do.