In a the sixth inning of Game 3 of the NLCS, after some two hours of pitching through steady rain, Josh Fogg turned his back on the batter Mark Reynolds with two outs, a 2-2 count and the go-ahead run on second. Fogg took his time, tilted his head back, soaked up the falling rain and brought a quiet crowd to its feet as it took a cue from Fogg and finally erupted in Coors Field fashion. Fogg struck out Reynolds, and the rejuvenated Rockies took the lead in the bottom of the inning.
"When this place is packed and loud, it's a lot of fun," Fogg said the day before that game. "You try to step back and regroup and not let it get the best of you. But definitely, you feel the energy."It was typical Fogg, setting the tone, relishing the moment and energizing everyone in his presence. He's done much the same thing during his two-year tour with the Rockies, turning the clubhouse into a loose lounge where laughter reigns, mixing a relaxed confidence with a purposeful intensity. Fogg is first in line when it comes to self-deprecating humor, poking fun at his non-descript stuff and putting the "play" back in the game, keeping himself and his team from overcomplicating the pastime they've loved since they were kids. There's been a lot more kid in Fogg this season, and it's no coincidence that he and his wife, Jessica, had their first child in the offseason, a son, Koy, who has clearly helped his pop put things in perspective. "My wife and I have had so much fun," Fogg told Rockies Magazine this summer. "You think you know what you're getting into, but you really don't. It's twice as hard as you expect, and twice as much fun as you expect. We're having a great time." He could well be explaining his own duality: at least twice as tough as opposing hitters are prepared for and double the delights when kicking back in the clubhouse. It was only fitting, then, that his teammates commissioned a locker-sized painting of Fogg as the "Dragon Slayer," a nickname given him by teammate Matt Holliday for his lights-out performance against five luminaries on the mound during the Rockies' September stretch run. The vivid, fantasy-tinged portrait captures both the humor and the heroics of the often unheralded starter. "It's really well done, really artistic and kind of shocking," Fogg said, echoing his own clippings from friends and fire-breathing foes alike.
Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.