DETROIT -- Angels catcher Chris Iannetta was on the 2007 Rockies team that won 14 of its last 15 games and steamrolled through the first two rounds of the playoffs, winning seven in a row until the Red Sox swept them in the World Series. And to this day, Iannetta can recall the defining moment -- the second of a doubleheader against the Dodgers on Sept. 18, when Todd Helton turned a one-run deficit into a walk-off win with a two-out, ninth-inning two-run homer.
After that, the Rockies never felt like they were out of a game. The win had galvanized them, and that never-say-die mentality, Iannetta believes, played a big part in making up 4 1/2 games in the National League Wild Card race with 12 to play.
"It's huge," Iannetta said, "but there's a lot of things that go into that. It's team chemistry, it's how much will you have to win. It's all those things that you don't see in a stat line, it's all those things that you don't see on the field. It's stuff that players see in the clubhouse and amongst themselves that carry over into their work. It carries over into the way that they eat in the food room together, the way that they're in the training room and weight room, and then carries over into BP and then in the game it shows up. But you'll never see that in a stat line."
Iannetta's hope is that Wednesday's 12-inning win over the A's, which ended on his own walk-off homer, could have a similar impact.
"It's not just going to be one win, but it's a group of wins that defines a team from an identity standpoint," Iannetta said. "It helps with your chemistry in the clubhouse. Those things are very important. If you have good chemistry and you're a very united group, really good things can happen."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less