Memories: 17 Runs Allowed, A Challenge That Can Be Overcome - -Like July 4, 2008

Chris Iannetta celebrated his walk-off on July 4, 2008

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The date of July 4, 2008 is forever etched in the minds of the players on that Rockies team, and many of their fans.

That was the night the Rockies rallied from a 13-4 deficit after the fourth inning, and celebrated an 18-17 walk-off victory at Coors Field against their expansion cousin Florida Marlins, as the franchise was known at that time.

It was a lot more exciting for the Rockies and their fans than the 17-9 loss the Rockies suffered against the Reds on Saturday night at Coors Field -- the 20th time in franchise history that the Rockies have allowed 17 or more runs in a game, and the 19th time they lost the game.

That Fourth of July in 2008 is the exception, not just for the Rockies but for Major League Baseball. That Rockies game in 2008 was only the sixth time in MLB history that a team won a game despite giving up 17 or more runs.

And that rally from a nine-run defifict on that Fourth of July in 2008 came the night after the Rockies had pulled out a 6-5, 11-inning victory against the Marlins thanks to the walk-off, two-run single by Ryan Spilborghs, now a part of the AT&T Rockies telecast grew.

It was 93 degrees that 4th of July, with a four-mile-per-hour wind.

"It was one of those nights." said Spilborghs of that Fourth of July victory. "When it is warm and there is not a wind you know the balls is going to fly."

It flew that night, espeically for the Rockies, who treated a sellout crowd due in part to the post-game fireworks show, to the home team hitting six home runs, including two by Spilborghts, and a three-run shot by Chris Iannetta.

Iannetta, who was in the lineup for the Rockies on Saturday also was behind the plate in that 2008 game, and played a significant part of the comeback. Not only did Ianetta deliver the home run in the fifth that cut the deficit to 13-9, he also delivered the game-winning, bases-loaded, walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth.

"It was one of those once-in-a-career nights," said Spilborghts, who followed up his game-winning effort on July 3, had two home runs, a double and a single in the walk-off victory the next night.

It was a game that saw Hanley Ramirez of the Marlins hit the first pitch of the game, thrown by Rockies starter Greg Reynolds, for a home run, and then Iannetta hit the final pitch of the game, thrown by Marlins reliever Kevin Gregg for the game-winning single. That's the same Gregg who failed to retire a batter and suffered the loss with a blown save on July 3.

Clint Barmes opened the bottom of the ninth with a single on a 1-2 pitch. Matt Holliday, who hit a solo home run in the fifth and grand slam in the seventh that pulled the Rockies within 17-16, singled Barmes to second in the ninth, and Garrett Atkins followed with a game-thying single.

Gregg did get Jeff Baker to hit a ground ball to second baseman Alfredo Amezaga, who threw to Ramirez in a bid for a double-play, but Ramirez couldn't catch the ball, and the Rockies had the bases loaded. Iannetta then took a first-pitch strike, and delivered the game-ending hit -- a weak groundball past third.

"We had some guys have big nights," said Spillborghs.

Spilborghs, Barmes, Holliday and Atkins, the top four in the Rockies batting order that night, combined for 16 hits, two walks, 13 runs scored and 13 RBI.

And the Rockies enjoyed one of those rare baseball moments -- a victory despite allowing 17 runs.

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