50,925 FANS LEAVE COORS FIELD IN A GOOD MOOD
When I stopped by my office just 6 blocks from Coors Field this morning about 9AM it was cold and overcast. It hardly looked like a day when the 2-1 Rockies would be holding their home opener – was this February or was it really 2 days before Easter?
Police and parking lot attendants were already starting to block off streets around the park as well as all the choice curbside parking spots. LoDo restaurant managers were shaling out their purple and black “Rocks Back” banners over street side eating areas. Hardcore fans were seeping out into traffic lanes waving hand written signs of all sizes and shapes – “NEED TICKETS”. Hot dog vendors in shabby ski jackets were rolling their carts out on the damp curbsides and vendors were hawking scorecards and $1.00 bags of peanuts – inside the park they're $4.00.
Every TV and radio station had their broadcast vans in place and morning celebrities were filling the airwaves from their tented enclaves inside and outside the ballpark. A single biplane was circling the park pulling a huge banner advertising a local back that said, “THIS IS OUR ONLY CORPORATE JET – 1ST BANK OF COLORADO”.
Colorado Rockies Opening Day – 2nd only to any Denver Broncos home game – more colorful than a Colorado 4th of July – and a day to get out of town unless you had the day off work with tickets. Falling into the latter category, my stay was timed to beat the traffic out of town and to make sure I had a comfortable spot to watch the game preferably in front of a big screen.
By the time the Air Force jets stationed at nearby Buckley Field finished their flyby and the contrails blended into the overhanging mist, Jason Marquis, the Rockies new starting pitcher acquired from the Cubs last December in a straight up trade for Luis Viscaino, was already warmed up and on the mound in front of a record 50,925 anxious fans.
By 5PM, the Colorado Rockies had not only posted a win bringing their record to 3-1 on the season but had mercilessly pummeled the visiting World Champ Philadelphia Philllies and World Series MVP, Cole Hamels (0-1) by a score of 10-3. Could the Blake Street Bombers really be back? This time with pitching?
Pitching #4 in a 5 man rotation, Marquis settled in quickly and for most of the afternoon kept his pitches low and in using an above average fastball and a commanding curveball. Marquis, for today, pitched 7 stellar innings giving up just 2 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks with 2 strikeouts on 93 total pitches. Hurdle couldn’t have been more pleased as he watched Marquis go 2-2 with a single, double, and RBI on the day – helping himself and the team.
Marquis gave the ball to the 39 year old Embree who handled the 8th followed by the newly arrived Belisle for the bottom of the trash ninth earning his first save as a Rock.
Rockies’ pitching was so solid this afternoon, that even the Phillies’ mighty slugger, Ryan Howard finished the day 0-4 in the thin mountain air.
Along the way, the starting nine continued to show the powerful influence of Don “Bam Bam” Baylor as Tulowitski hit his first triple of the season, Garrett Atkins posted his first hit of the year, belting a long home run to deep right center, Spilborghs went 3-5, and Dexter Fowler continues to amaze us with his blazing speed running the bases.
Now if only the Rockies could string together another 158 games just like today’s…
Next up? Philadelphia Phillies vs. Colorado Rockies at Coors Field Saturday, April 11th. Don’t be late – first pitch 7:10 PM lost time zone.
Pitching, Pitching, Pitching…Let's see what #5 can do-Jorge De La Rosa.
About the Author
Written by Denni Secline