Tulo sets patient tone with 14 pitch at-bat

Troy Tulowitzki did his best Todd Helton imitation.

With one out in the bottom of the first inning, the Rockies shortstop battled himself into a full count. He then proceeded to foul off eight consecutive pitches - seeing everything Phillies starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone had - before finally taking ball four and trotting to first base with a Helton-esque walk.

"If you look back at that at-bat [Pettibone] would say the same; he made good pitches that I fouled off and then he made bad pitches that I fouled off," Tulowitzki said.

The 14-pitch at-bat - which was the longest of his career - set the tone for Tulowitzki and the club. First baseman Justin Morneau stepped into the box after him and doubled to score a pair. That was directly followed by a ground out that would would plate another run and then Nolan Arenado knocked in another run as Colorado amassed a four-run first inning.

When Tulowitzki returned to the plate in the second inning, Pettibone might as well have been throwing batting practice. The shortstop practically knew what was coming. He took one of those foul balls he missed and instead clobbered it nearly above the treeline in the deep right center field area - 447 feet away from home plate.

"I hit that ball about as well as I could hit a ball," the shortstop said.

Tulowitzki would double in the 4th inning, single in the 6th before getting relieved. He and manager Walt Weiss joked about the distant possibility of him getting the cycle - Tulowitzki was merely a triple shy. The shortstop said an outfielder would have had to fallen down to make that happen.

It was the most productive games of the year of him - totally five runs batted in - but you won't find Tulowitzki giving this outing much acclaim.

"I don't think anything gets you going in this game because it's so hard. It can humble you real quick so you never want to say 'Oh man, this is going to be the start of something great'," Tulowitzki confided following Colorado's 12-1 victory. "You'll fall down if you start thinking like that."

It took Tulowitzki tipping, pushing, clipping and slicing pitches to get going him going. Nine foul balls before he hit one fair - patient turned potent.


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