DENVER -- Rockies shortstop Trevor Story senses he can make a special play long before he makes the must-see highlight.
Four plays in Sunday's 3-2 loss to the Phillies wound up noted with stars on folks' scorecards. Two were dazzlers to record an out at first base. The others prevented runs and would have been the difference had the National League Wild Card-leading Rockies won.
"I try to map out what's going to happen, be ready to make the play and not hesitate -- there's no time for that," Story said.
Story went behind second base to nab Nick Williams' grounder to lead off the fourth inning and executed a 360-degree twirl to make the throw. The play has become his signature, in the way his mentor, current Blue Jays and former Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, took ownership of the backhand play and leaping throw from short left field.
But Story pulled a "Tulo" from deep in the hole to his right to get Hyun Soo Kim to end the seventh.
"In Spring Training every day, I saw the work [Story] put in with the rest of the infielders and the work with Stu [Cole, the infield coach] as far as long-ranging plays, different types of plays," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "There's a repetition to these types of plays that Trev puts in, and it shows up during the regular season."
Story credited first baseman Mark Reynolds with a nice scoop as well.
In the eighth, Story accepted a throw from left fielder Gerardo Parra, who lunged for Andres Blanco's double and had to scramble to his feet. Story fired to catcher Ryan Hanigan to beat Cameron Rupp, who was trying to score from first. It was a major momentum play since it prevented the tying run.
"It's awesome. I love that play," Story said. "That's probably my favorite play, trying to throw somebody out at home on a relay. It all really depends on the first throw. G.P. made a perfect throw where I could get a good transfer and get it to Hanny, who made a great play catching it on the short hop."
Story thwarted another tying-run chance in the ninth when he grabbed Kim's first-and-third grounder and threw out Odubel Herrera for the first out. It kept a possible double play in order, but closer Greg Holland gave up a two-run Rupp double for just his second blown save of the season.
Hanigan said cutting down two runners at the plate in the same game was "a rare occurrence, but it's always fun."