Forget about postseason races and division titles. That was all secondary in the world of baseball Monday night.
At Coors Field on Monday, Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis returned to the mound for the first time since being diagnosed with testicular cancer over the winter. He's been sidelined all season while receiving treatment. Of course he received a huge ovation when he walked out to the mound:
Awesome. What a moment.
Bettis, in his first start since Sept. 30 of last season, was absolutely brilliant Monday night. He held the Braves to six hits and no walks in seven scoreless innings in the win (COL 3, ATL 0). He struck out two. How great is that? Baseball can be truly amazing sometimes. I have to imagine this was a very special night for Bettis. Maybe the most special of his career.
Here is Bettis walking off the mound after recording his final out:
As you can imagine, Bettis received big hugs and congratulations from all his teammates after that performance. The Braves also made sure to let Bettis know they're glad he's back on the mound, even after he shut them down.
The Rockies are, of course, in the middle of a postseason race, so Bettis' great start was more than a feel-good story. Colorado is trying to clinch the top wild-card spot to ensure home-field advantage in that winner-take-all contest. Bettis gave his team a huge lift Monday, both on the mound and in the dugout. His teammates rallied around him.