Todd Helton is an unclenched fist relaxed the source of both purposeful and unintentional humor. Retirement official he's been testing out slogans for his Columbine Ford dealership on teammates. "It's a steal of a deal" he bellows in a Velveeta-dripped FM-dee-jay voice. They laugh. He actually smiled after batting practice Tuesday saying through clenched teeth "I am enjoying this." The season has been a disappointment but Helton continues to make the most of his farewell. The Rockies blistered the playoff-bound Red Sox 8-3 on Wednesday night setting the stage for his final home game Thursday which is close to a sellout. Helton delivered two hits knocking in the Rockies' second run against Red Sox starter John Lackey. The veteran first baseman has five hits in his past two games which have been a stream of standing ovations. On a night that hitting instructor Dante Bichette said he won't return next season to be closer to his family the Rockies delivered double-figure hits. All-star Michael Cuddyer doubled and singled raising his league-leading batting average to .335 eight points higher than Atlanta's Chris Johnson. There wasn't much offense necessary for Tyler Chatwood. Likely capping his breakthrough season the right-hander allowed just one unearned run in seven innings finishing with a 3.15 ERA a dramatic improvement from last season's 5.43. Even the run was tainted. Chatwood dropped a perfect feed from Helton on a groundball then fired the ball into the Red Sox's dugout trying to retire a runner at home. He survived two errors because he allowed just three hits. Chatwood acquired before last season for catcher Chris Iannetta erased Jackie Bradley at the plate taking a beautiful backhand feed from catcher Jordan Pacheco for the sliding out. In what will likely be emotional Wednesday night Helton will play his 1141st game at Coors Field where he has hit 226 home runs since 1997.
Tyler Chatwood, Rockies defeat Boston Red Sox 8-3
Denver Post | Sep 25