Ryan Spilborghs called it one of the five worst weather experiences of his career, which is not surprising considering Fairbanks, Alaska was warmer than Chicago yesterday. One team looked right at home playing in the frigid brutal weather Monday, and it was not the team that resides a mile high by snowy peaks.
The heater in the dugout was not enough to chase away the numbness in Ubaldo Jimenez' fingers, Brad Hawpe's hamstring flared up in the cold, Todd Helton was "miserable", and Garrett Atkins faced Ted Lilly without feeling in his right hand. The Rockies were wretchedly cold.
But weren't the Cubs playing in the same weather? Only Hawpe seems to acknowledge this in post-game quotes. Hmmm...maybe the Rockies were cursed by the decapitated goat found at Wrigley before the game. Maybe it's just because Ted Lilly is MLB's best #3 starter. Uh, that's not it. If you believe Spilborghs, the Cubs, and specifically Lilly, were just better equipped for the cold.
"If you were a Cubs pitcher, you had really good conditions today," Spilborghs said. "That's about it. (Ted Lilly) had optimal conditions for the day." -Lindsay Willhite, Chicago Daily Herald
Ubaldo's long, lanky Dominican frame probably is not best suited for Arctic cold. Noting Jimenez perpetual frozen hands, Clint Hurdle admired the young pitcher's effort. Given the circumstances, it was indeed a grinding effort - had Jeff Baker completed the double play, Jimenez would have allowed just one run in four innings on a day he had no control.
Lilly has played most of his career in cold weather cities, so perhaps he indeed is used to tossing a frozen hook.
"It could have been snowing, sleeting or on top of Mount Everest and Ted's a gamer," Cubs catcher Koyie Hill said.
"It was fun out there," Lilly said. -Troy Renck
The Cubs took the cold to their advantage while the Rockies failed to thaw. Whatever the reason, let'd hope it is fixed. A team with hopes of contending can't be crippled by cold - after all, October games are played in...October.
Still, yesterday's game constituted 0.617% of the season schedule. We know these bats will produce over the course of a season, so falling one game below .500 against Arizona, Philly and Chicago is nothing to be ashamed about, especially when considering the Rockies are +6 in the run department so far.
In Troy Renck's latest mailbag, he likened Christian Colonel's career path to that of the aforementioned Spilborghs - slow, under the radar, but ever-increasing in the view of the front office. Renck also recognizes that there was no market for Joe Koshansky on the trade front, which is why he was exposed to waivers.
ESPN recognizes Coors Field as having the seventh-cheapest ticket price available in MLB on the basis of the standard $4 Rockpile price, behind Florida, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Atlanta, Oakland, and Houston. That's a modest achievement, but then consider the Rockpile price is standard, while the six "better deals" are all either limited seating, obstructed view, special birthday deals, mini-plans, or are available on select days of the week.
Day in and day out, there's no better deal than Coors Field.