KUSA - The Rockies knew they had some serious ground to make up to even have a prayer at a postseason berth.
On Sept. 18, the Rockies had a doubleheader at home with the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving the club a rare opportunity to significantly close the gap with the San Diego Padres.
The two games at Coors Field couldn't have been more different, but they both had the same result.
Game one: Jeff Francis wins pitchers' duel
It took one of the best starts of Jeff Francis' career to help Rocktober continue.
In an afternoon game in lower downtown, the lefty pitcher earned a career-high 10 strikeouts--the most at the time for a Rockies pitcher since 2003.
The game was scoreless until the 4th inning, when Matt Holliday gave Colorado a 1-0 lead with an RBI single to score Cory Sullivan.
Todd Helton added a run-scoring single later that ended up being the difference, as the Rockies went on to beat LA by a score of 3-1.
It was a big moment for Helton and the Rockies, yet it was all but forgettable compared to the play that lit the city on fire later that night.
Player Reactions 10 years later
Utility infielder Jamey Carroll: "The timing of it got us in to this fun playoff run that we were a part of. So you start to really, really appreciate that. And, I haven't really until the last few years of being done and thinking, 'wow, we really did do that.'"
Game two: The swing that sparked Rocktober
The Rockies were a strike away from a devastating loss that would have dropped the team 5.5 games behind the San Diego Padres.
Luckily, there was no one the team would rather have step up to the plate.
Down 8-7 in the bottom of the 9th with one runner on, two outs and two strikes, Todd Helton had the biggest swing of his career.
The longtime Rockie crushed a no-doubter two-run walk-off homer over the scoreboard in right field to send Coors Field into a frenzy.
The image of Helton jumping into his teammates' arms at the plate and showing a bit of rare emotion is something Rockies fans will never forget.
It was just the first sign of the Rockies' magic that would stay with the club for another month.
Rocktober was officially in full swing.
Player Reactions 10 years later
Outfielder Ryan Spilborghs: "The moment that it clicked for this group is when Todd Helton hit the home run off of Saito. After that happened, we knew something was on."
Jamey Carroll: "That was definitely a special moment. I can see it perfectly in my head, him jumping in to home and having that hair flowing. It looked like he had some wings. I remember that as a big turning point as in, 'hey, this could be fun if we could do something really silly.'"
Todd Helton: "You would never think that we could pull of something like we did. It was pretty amazing. That day was a long one. It was the second game of a double header and we had played a lot of baseball that day. I was ready to get off the field, but I was ready to get off the field with a win. I was lucky that he gave me a pitch that I was able to take out of the ballpark."
Helton on the emotion after the walk-off homer: "I never knew showing emotion was a big deal, or I would have done it more. I didn't show emotion one way or another usually. I tried to, for kids sakes. There were a lot of times I wanted to sling my bat or throw my helmet, but I never did that, because I didn't want kids seeing stuff like that. To me, when you hit a walk-off home run, you get to do whatever you want. I was very happy and very excited. And, I showed it."
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