FanPost

This Week in Rockies History (April 11th - 17th )

Word of warning folks, this post is long. 

Rockies All Time Record This Week

First let's look at the Rockies overall record this week.  As you can see below, the numbers once again show that the Rockies are just not a very good team in April.  Their winning percentage is a little higher this week at .468 compared to last week's .449, but it still falls short of their all time .476 winning percentage as a club.

Year

Wins

Loses

1993

2

4

1994

5

1

1995

0

0

1996

3

3

1997

4

1

1998

2

3

1999

2

1

2000

5

2

2001

4

2

2002

1

6

2003

3

4

2004

3

3

2005

1

5

2006

3

4

2007

2

4

2008

3

3

2009

1

4

All Time Record

44

50

Best Games This Week

April 17, 1994 (Expos) (6-5 in 10 innings)

In front of 55,443 at the old Mile High Stadium, Ellis Burks stepped to the plate with two out and nobody on in the 10th inning of a 5-5 game to face Montreal pitcher Gil Heredia.  After getting ahead in the count 2-1, Burks hit a shot to deep left center field that gave the Rockies a 6-5 extra innings win.  

April 16, 2000 (Cardinals) (14-13)

This was a classic Coors Field pre-humidor game.  The Rockies had to overcome early deficits of 3-0 and 7-3 as starter Brian Bohanon surrendered seven runs in just three innings of work.  The Rockies would come storming back however as they scored eight times off four Cardinal pitchers in their half of the 6th and quickly  turned a four run deficit into four run lead.  Their advantage would only grow over the next two inning as they took a 14-9 lead into the final frame. 

Rockies' pitcher Julian Tavarez then came into the game and quickly surrendered two singles, a double, and a walk while only getting one out.  The seemingly insurmountable lead seemed to be slipping away from the Rockies so Tavarez got the hook in favor of Gabe White.  White quickly got the second out of the 9th but then walked the next two batters to load the bases and make it a 14-12 game.  He then hit Eli Marrero to force in the Cardinals 13th run before finally getting Placido Polanco, who already had a hit in the inning, to line out to right field for the final out of the game (Why he swung at the first pitch when White was that wild I'll never know).  Interesting stat from this game: Despite all the offense and scoring 14 runs, no Rockie had more than two hits.  Very odd.

April 15, 2001 (D'Backs) (10-7 in 10 innings)

On paper, this game seemed like a mismatch; the eventual World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks had Curt Schilling on the mound while the Rockies sent journeyman pitcher Ron Villone to the hill.  At first, the game seemed to be going as advertised; Villone gave up more runs than he had innings pitched while Schilling struck out eight in seven innings of work.  However, two things kept the Rockies in this game.  First was great pitching by Joe Davenport, Kane Davis, Mike Myers, and Gabe White out of the Rockie bullpen that completely shut down the Arizona offense; and second were two key home runs by Greg Norton and Todd Hollandsworth off Arizona Ace Curt Schilling.  These two happenings turned what should have been a blowout into a tight 5-4 contest as Greg Swindell came in to pitch the 8th inning for Arizona.  Swindell was not up to the challenge as he gave up not one, but two bombs to Rockie hitters named Todd (and neither came against the one you're thinking of).  First it was Todd Walker who tied the game at five with a solo shot to right center, and later in the inning  it was Todd Hollandsworth who launched a two run blast for his second (but not final) home run of the game to give the Rockies a 7-5 lead.           

Colorado now stood just three defensive outs away from victory as closer Jose Jimenez entered the game to pitch the 9th.  He would start off the inning facing two Arizona pinch hitters.  First Craig Counsell batted for Jay Bell; he drew a walk.  Then Erubiel Durazo pinch hit for catcher Damion Miller; he took Jimenez deep, and just that quickly, the game was tied at seven.

It would remain that way until the bottom of 10th.  In this inning Ron Gant led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Todd Walker.  The D'Backs then elected to intentionally walk Todd Helton and bring in Matt Mantei to face Jeff Cirillo with men on first and second.  Mantei did get Cirillo to strike out swinging for the second out of the inning but he also threw a wild pitch during the at bat that allowed the runners to move up to second and third.  This left Arizona manager Bob Brenly with an interesting decision.  He could either elect to face the red hot Hollandsworth who already had two home runs in the game, or he could intentionally walk him and face Greg Norton.  Brenly chose the former option and boy was it the wrong call.  Hollandsworth got a hold of Mantei's 1-0 pitch and sent it over the right center field wall for his third home run of the game.  This gave the Rockies a wild 10-7 extra innings walk off victory.  However, as we will see later in the year, it was not the most dramatic game played at Coors Field against the Diamondbacks during the 2001 season.  

April 17, 2008 (@Padres) (2-1 in 22 INNINGS!!!!!)

I could give a complete recap of this game but this post is already way to long.  Instead of going into detail about the Rockies scoring the winning run on a Tulo double following a San Diego error in the 22nd inning, Jeff Francis and Jake Peavey combining to throw 15 scoreless innings, Kip Wells pitching four scoreless innings to get the win, the wild 14th inning where both teams scored a run, Paul McCauley's boneheaded decision to try and get to third with nobody out in the 13th, and Brad Hawpe going 0-7 while getting the golden sombrero and still being the only Rockie with an RBI for the first 21 innings, I'll just tell you about my experience watching this game. 

It was April 2008 so I didn't know the Row existed yet and I was at school with no extra innings TV package.  This meant I had to go onto freebaseballradio.com to listen to this game.  While I usually love long baseball games I was hoping for this particular contest to be a quick one.  The game started just after 10:00pm eastern and I had a presentation to give in my Management class the next day at 8:00am.  So as you might imagine, I was quite pleased when Francis and Peavey were pitching brilliantly early on; all I needed was for the Rockies to score a run and this thing would be over in just over two hours.  Everything was coming together perfectly, or so I thought.  The game was moving fast but neither team could break through.        

Then came a conversation in the 11th inning between Jeff Kingery and Jack Corrigan that I will never forget.  They noted that one of the scoreboards in the outfield had reset after 10 innings and now had room to go all the way to the 20th.  They joked with each other about how San Diego was a little "over prepared" for this thing.  Right then I thought to myself, "this game better not go 20 innings or I'll be a walking zombie tomorrow."  Well as you know the game didn't go 20 innings, it went 22 instead; and yes I stayed up and listened to every single one of them.  (I am such a sucker.  Thank God the Rockies won) 

I was going to go to bed, but I just kept telling myself "one more inning.  Okay, maybe not that inning, but it's gonna happen next inning."  I did that to about the 16th and from there on in I was in it for the history factor.  There was no way I was going to leave the longest Rockies' game in history.

Since it was almost 4:30 by the time to game ended here, I just stayed up figuring I'd be less tired that way.  I went out to breakfast, ran on adrenalin from the Rockies win, and salvaged a "B" on my presentation.  From there I slept all afternoon and evening and woke up just in time to see the Rockies and the Astros combine for ten runs in the first inning of the next game.  "Seriously?" I thought.  "Where were all these runs the night before?"   

I'm sure there are lots of other people here who have great stories about this game so please share in the comments.

 

Worst Game This Week

April 11, 1993 (Expos) (19-9)

You know it's bad when you score nine runs and still lose by double digits.  It's even worse however when you do it in front of nearly 67,000 people and make five errors in the process.  This was actually a close game after five innings as the Rockies only trailed 6-4; but then the Expos started playing football as they scored a field goal in the 6th, another field goal in the 7th , an a touchdown in the 9th. Okay not really but I'm sure it felt that way for the people who hung around for that torture.

 

Notable Debuts

April 11, 2009 (Jason Hammel)  Jason Hammel made his Rockies debut in this game after being traded from the Rays.  He pitched 2.2 innings in relief and gave up two earned runs in an 8-4 loss to the Phillies

April 16, 2004 (Matt Holliday) Matt Holliday first appeared in left field for the Rockies in this game.  He went 0-3 with a walk in a 13-5 loss to the Cardinals.  

April 17, 1994 (Marvin Freeman) Remember that first game I nominated for best Rockies' game this week?  While it was significant for another reason.  Marvin Freeman, who would finish 4th in the CY Young voting later that year made his Rockies' debut.  He was unspectacular during this game however giving up three runs and lasting just four innings.

 

Birthdays

Bret Saberhagen (April 11, 1964) - While Saberhagen will forever be remembered for his time in Kansas City where he won two CY Young's and a World Series, he did spend half of the 1995 season on the Rockies.  Unfortunately he was very ineffective.  He pitched just 43 innings, had an ERA of 6.28, and lost the only playoff game he started.

Robin Jennings (April 11, 1972) - The only player born in Singapore to make it to the majors made it into just one game with the Rockies as he was traded twice in July of 2001.  First the Rockies sent Ron Gant to Oakland to get him on July 3rd, and then they paired Jennings with Todd Walker and sent them both to Cincinnati in exchange for Alex Ochoa on July 19th.

Bobby Jones (April 11, 1972) - No the outstanding amateur golfer never played for the Rockies.  Instead we had to settle for three below average seasons of relief work from 1997 to 1999 before this Bobby Jones was traded to the Mets who actually already had another Bobby Jones on their team at the time.

Gregg Zaun (April 14, 1971) - Another player who didn't have much of an impact with the Rockies as he played just 15 games for us in 2003.  Perhaps he is now most famous for being linked with the Mitchell Report that came out in December of 2007.

Roberto Mejia (April 14, 1972) - Played parts of three seasons (1993-1995) for the Rockies and didn't play very well.  His career OBP was just .270 despite playing in Denver during the pre-humidor days.

Jeromy Bernitz (April 15, 1969) - Bernitz spent only one year with the Rockies but he made his time worthwhile.  During the 2004 season he launched 37 home runs, posted a .916 OPS and finished 23rd in the MVP voting.

Paul Phillips (April 15, 1977) - While Paul Philips did an admirable job filling in for Yorvit Torrealba while he was taking care of a family emergency last season,  many Robots will always remember Philips more for this incident.  

Nolan Arenado (April 16, 1991) - If you're trying to remember Nolan Arenado, you're looking in the wrong direction on the Rockies's timeline.  He was our second round pick in last year's draft and is trying to work his way up the ranks.

Gary Bennett (April 17, 1972) - Caught for the Rockies in parts of 2001 and 2002.  Despite spending 13 years in the majors, Bennett never played more than 96 games in any season of his career.

Jorge Piedra (April 17, 1979) - After becoming just the second player to ever be suspended for steroid use in April of 2005, Piedra actually put together a strong final four months batting .306 with a .924 OPS.  He would hit just .169 in 43 games the following season however and never again make it back to the majors.

Eat. Drink. Be Merry. But the above FanPost does not necessarily reflect the attitudes, opinions, or views of Purple Row's staff (unless, of course, it's written by the staff [and even then, it still might not]).

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