Finally, it has arrived. Finally, after months of hemming, hawing, arguing, debating, photoshopping, and groaning, Opening Day is upon us. Finally, after months of random news, out of building mountains from molehills, we finally will see the work and patience of the offseason come to fruition. The standings are finally all at 0-0 (well, except for the East Coast media darlings), everybody has a clean slate as we look toward the 2010 Major League Baseball Season.
Tracy Ringolsby takes a look back at Opening Day and brings us some numbers from Opening Days as well as against Milwaukee, and on the road. Similarly, I propose we do the same thing, and explore what TREATS Opening Day has carried for us in the past. Join me, won't you? /climbs into dirigible
Monday, April 6, 2009: Colorado 8, Arizona 9.
Brad Hawpe goes 3-for-4 while Chris Iannetta, Seth Smith, and Troy Tulowitzki all homer to boost the Rockies to 8 runs, but fall short to the switch-hitting absurdity of Tony Clark and Felipe Lopez, who both homered from both sides of the plate. Brandon Webb and Aaron Cook both struggle in their starts, and this ends up being the only action Brandon Webb sees all of 2009.
WPA Hero: Brad Hawpe, .30. WPA Zero: Aaron Cook, -.510.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008: Colorado 2, St. Louis 1
Coming fresh off of new contracts, Kip Wells pitches 5.1, allowing only 1 run on a Yadier Molina home run, while Troy Tulowitzki goes 3-for-4 and Manny Corpas nails down the save. Ryan Franklin ultimately was the goat in this game, allowing a leadoff single to Tulo, a ground-rule double to Helton, a FC from Matt Holliday resulting in an E5, advancing Helton to 3B, an Atkins walk, Hawpe and Torrealba punchouts, and finally, a Jayson Nix clutch walk. This may not be as fresh a memory as Jeff Francis getting shelled at the hands of the same Cardinals the afternoon before, but I prefer to think of it as very selective memory and/or repression.
WPA Hero: Manny Corpas, .201; WPA Zero: Brad Hawpe, -.170
Monday, April 2, 2007: Colorado 6, Arizona 8
Seriously, I'm glad we're not opening against Arizona in 2010. We just seem to have trouble with them. Aaron Cook and Brandon Webb go toe-to-toe again, and again, neither of them bring their A-game, both allowing 5ER in 5 for Webb and 6 for Cook. Willy Taveras steals a base, Jeff Baker clocks a dead-away-center HR, but ultimately, LaTroy Hawkins' inability to throw a strong slider undoes the Rockies in the 8th.
WPA Hero: Jeff Baker, .155; WPA Zero: LaTroy Hawkins: -.566.
Monday, April 3, 2006: Colorado 3, Arizona 2
Ok, so maybe it's not all bad. Brandon Webb pitches 7 strong against Colorado, as does Colorado starter Jason Jennings, but watches his tie game get wiped away by a promptly blown save from Terry Mulholland, and Jennings sees fielding troubles charge an unearned run to Ray King. Fast-forward to the 11th inning, after several scoreless frames, and with one out, Matt Holliday singles to RF, PH Jason Smith singles to RF, advancing Holliday to 3B, and Brad Hawpe grounds to 1B, scoring Holliday on what's arguably the most dramatic play in baseball: The Walkoff Fielder's Choice.
WPA Hero: Jason Jennings, .353. WPA Zero: Danny Ardoin, -.213
Monday, April 4, 2005: Colorado 12, San Diego 10
Colorado came out with Guns-a-Blazin' in this one, scoring 8 runs in the first 6 innings of play. However, despite 5 innings of strong work, Joe Kennedy allows another 3 runs without recording an out in the 6th, and bullpens fail back and forth until somehow Colorado is able to rack up 4 runs on 4 hits off of closer Trevor Hoffman, including the ever-so-memorable walkoff home run to rookie SS Clint Barmes. I'm pretty sure this was the game where Dustan Mohr hurt himself celebrating, too.
Click past the jump, because we're still rolling back. Yes, we go before Gen R.
Tuesday April 6, 2004: Colorado 6, Arizona 2
Seriously, maybe it's just recently selective memory or something. Luis A. Gonzalez and Charlie Johnson both homer, Todd Helton steals 3rd, and Shawn Estes pitched 7 innings of 1-run ball, Brian Fuentes was awarded the Hold, and there was no save. Although Shawn Chacon pitched the 9th anyhow. Those were crazy days.
WPA Hero: Shawn Estes, .347; WPA Zero: Kit Pellow, -.130
Tuesday, April 1, 2003: Colorado 4, Houston 10
Nothing to see here, folks, move it right along. Despite several 2-hit days for the Rockies, Jason Jennings messed the bed, allowing 8 runs on 9 hits over just 4 innings. Roy Oswalt went 7 strong, allowing 2 runs (1 earned), and despite Bruce Chen plating 2 Rockies, Ricky Stone and Octavio Dotel put up the necessary goose-eggs to take home the big Dubbya.
WPA Hero: Jay Payton, .082; WPA Zero: Jason Jennings, -.497
Monday, April 1, 2002: Colorado 2, St. Louis, 10
Another forgettable opening day here. Mega Ace Mike Hampton allows 6 runs on 9 hits in just 3.2 innings of overpaid work. Not to say that he was the only goat, as Mike James, Rick White, and Jose Jimenez all allowed runs of their own (2 for Jose, even!) while St. Louis starter Matt Morris turned in 7 innings of 1-run ball. But hey, Todd Helton and Larry Walker both had 2 hits...Walker even scored both of our runs! These were the days of the Todds: Helton, Hollandsworth, Zeile and Jones.
WPA Hero: Todd Helton, .045; WPA Zero: Mike Hampton, -.346
Monday, April 2, 2001: Rockies 8, St. Louis 0.
8.1 innings of shutout ball? On only 102 pitches? Worth every penny, right?! Juan Pierre, Todd Walker, Larry Walker, Jeff Cirillo, Neifi Perez, and Brent Mayne all turned in multi-hit games (and Helton went 1-for-2 with 2BB), the Walkers hit homers, and things were gonna be GREAT for the Rockies for the first time since 1995. Just as a reference point, the Cardinals fielded Mark McGwire at 1B, batting 4th behind Jim Edmonds, Placido Polanco batted 5th, and LF Albert Pujols batted 6th. Time keeps on a-marchin.
WPA Hero: Mike Hampton, .309; WPA Zero: Neifi Perez, -0.34
Monday, April 3, 2000: Rockies 0, Atlanta 2
In a battle of Aces, Greg Maddux stared down Pedro Astacio, and I'm afraid to say that Astacio blinked. Both pitchers pitched into the 8th, 7.1 for Astacio, 7.2 for Maddux, but Maddux did it in shutout form, while Astacio allowed 2 runs. Oh, and Maddux did it on 81 pitches as well. I hear he was pretty good. Dueling shutouts until the 7th inning. Nailbiting stuff there. On the positive side for the Rockies, Larry Walker and Jeffrey Hammonds turned in 2-hit games.
WPA Hero: Pedro Astacio, .116 (and mind you, this is all pitching, he was a -.209 at the plate - groundout with the bases jacked, 2 outs); WPA Zero: Jeff Cirillo, -.171.
That, dear Rockies fans, is the history of Colorado Rockies Opening Days, going back to 2000. I may continue updating this to go back to 1993, but for the moment, let's all bask in the confusion that was Opening Day for Years Past.
I'm Andrew Martin, and this has been the Opening Day Rockpile.