A night after a devastating loss, the Rockies beat up on the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-1 in a must-win game at Coors Field.
But, Sept. 29, 2007 will be remembered not for what the Rockies did, but for what happened hundreds of miles away to keep Rocktober alive.
In Milwaukee, San Diego had a chance to put away the Rockies for good. Regardless of what Colorado did, all the Padres had to do was win one of their last two games and they would clinch the Wild Card spot, eliminating the Rockies and putting an end to their magical run.
They were one out away from doing just that.
In the bottom of the ninth, San Diego's 7-time All-Star closer Trevor Hoffman came to the mound with a one-run lead and a chance to close things out and start the champagne celebration in the Padres' clubhouse.
But with two outs, Tony Gwynn Jr. of the Milwaukee Brewers saved the Rockies' season.
Gwynn Jr.--who's dad Tony Gwynn ironically was a Hall of Famer that played his entire career with the Padres--kept his father's former team from clinching by hitting a game-tying triple to make it 3-3 and force extra innings.
The Brewers would go on to complete the comeback with a walk-off victory in the bottom of the 11th. San Diego's loss, coupled with the Rockies victory, brought Colorado within one game of the Wild Card with just one day of baseball left to go.
The Rockies were still alive.
Player Reflections 10 years later
Tony Gwynn Jr., on his triple that kept the Rockies' season alive:
"Before that game started, my wife was pregnant, so I had arranged with the Padres owner at the time to ride home with them on the private jet (after the series). I come up, end up tripling, and at the time I'm just thinking about doing my job."
"I'm facing a guy who could be related to me ultimately (referencing how well he knows the team because of his father) and I'm asked to get a big hit. And, I end up tripling and I'm pumped up. I got the hit, and my average went up at that time."
"So, I remember sliding into third, and I remember looking into the stands and seeing the face of everybody who was on the Padres side. And, I remember thinking, 'this is awesome. But, I got to ride home on the plane tomorrow with these guys.' All in all, it was an awesome moment, biggest hit of my career, and one of the things I'll never forget."
"We knew going in to the game that if the Padres won they could eliminate the Rockies at that point. But, Ned Yost--who was our manager at the time--was adamant about us finishing the year. At the time for the Brewers, we hadn't finished about .500 and we were right on that cusp. We were either .500 or had a chance to finish above, and he wanted us to go out and play these games as if we were still in the playoffs."
"I knew what the significance was, obviously growing up in San Diego and being around that organization my entire life, so part of me after it was over was still hoping they could somehow pull it out, because I still had to live in San Diego."