The Colorado Rockies are 52-39, a franchise record for the All-Star Break. Alas, there’s still no baseball today. Fear not! The team will be back tomorrow. In the meantime two straight days without a Major League Baseball games is almost torture when you’re wrapped up in the day-in-day-out rhythm of the season. Let’s let nostalgia fill the void.
When you win 52 of your first 91 games, you’re bound to have more than a few games that were worth remembering. We’ve picked five. You’re welcome to add to the conversation.
6) April 21: A pair of rare homers
We start with a game that was incredible at the time but may have been overshadowed by the games that came later. Early in the season we weren’t sure how for real the Rockies were (or how for-not-real the Giants were). A three-game home set, after winning a four game series in San Francisco in the previous weekend, seemed like a good measuring stick.
The Rockies were down 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth of a cold and rainy night in LoDo. Trevor Story stepped to the plate with the bases loaded against the dominant Johnny Cueto and, well, did this:
Not to be outdone, a few batters later Charlie Blackmon stepped to the plate.
Now, to be fair, it was slippery out there. But there was something cathartic about something unfortunate happening to the Giants and not the Rockies in that situation. The Rockies held on for a 6-5 victory en route to sweeping the Giants for the first time this season. You may recall the second sweep.
★ ★ ★
5) April 7: Local man wins home opener
Home openers are always fun: baseball is back, after all. Wins make it even more enjoyable. But factor in a local rookie making his big league debut in the process? That’s the stuff dreams are made of.
At the time it seemed like a bold move to have Kyle Freeland make his major league debut in the stadium he grew up watching baseball in the team’s home opener against one of the best teams of the last few years. But Freeland ended up going six innings while allowing just on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Dustin Garneau was even kind enough to give the Rockies the lead on a solo home run in the fifth. The score held, thanks to the dominant back-end of the bullpen, and Kyle Freeland had his first career win. That’s pretty cool.
★ ★ ★
4) June 20: Nolan bests Greinke
Part of what made this game so exceptional was what happened a little over 48 hours prior (more on that shortly). Zack Greinke, who has been dominant this season, was throwing a gem against the Rockies; it seemed like he could and would win the game all on his own. Then, after back-to-back singles from Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu in the bottom of the eighth, Nolan Arenado came up to play hero:
The impact of this game could not be easily overstated. At the time the Diamondbacks were one game back of the Rockies in the NL West and in the midst of a huge hot streak like the Rockies. Instead of falling out of first place and into a tie for second with Arizona, it pushed the Rockies two games ahead of the Dbacks and kept their hold on first place, putting them 21 games above .500. Thanks to Nolan.
★ ★ ★
3) May 10: Marquez flirts with a no-hitter, drives in two
Pitching performances are a definite theme of this list. The Rockies rode the rookie pitchers to an incredible 47-26 start. German Marquez provided a high point when he announced his presence with authority against the defending World Series champion Cubs by no-hitting them into the seventh inning. He gave up a leadoff double to defending MVP Kris Bryant in the top of the seventh, but then hit a two-run single in the bottom of the seventh. Kid can do it all.
★ ★ ★
2) July 9: Freeland takes no-hitter into ninth inning
The most recent game the Rockies makes the list not because of the lopsided score—the struggling offense putting up 10 runs was a welcome sight, though—but because of what happened on the mound. Kyle Freeland, making his second appearance on this list, had everything working for him last Sunday. He struck out six of the first nine batters he faced and, other than walking two and hitting a batter, allowed no hits through eight. After Gerardo Parra made a diving catch to preserve the no-no in the top of the ninth, Melky Cabrera broke it up by flaring a ball out to left field. Still, it was one of the best starts in Coors Field history.
★ ★ ★
1) June 18: Walk off cycle
As if there was any doubt. This game had it all: ridiculous defense, middle infielders hitting home runs to take the lead, a bullpen meltdown to put the game in doubt, a barrage of hits to bring the winning run to the plate, and Nolan Arenado hitting a three-run home run to secure the walk off AND to finish his cycle, finishing a sweep of the hated Giants, and pushing the team 20 games above .500 for the first time in seven years.
★ ★ ★
That’s our list! Agree with the ranking? Which games did we miss?
Which was your second favorite game from the first half?
This poll is closed
Story Slam + Chuck’s ITPHR
Freeland wins home opener
Nolan’s go-ahead triple
Marquez near no-hitter
Freeland near no-hitter
Other (specify in the comments)