With all players officially reporting to spring training, the regular season is just around the corner and it’s time to circle some dates on your calendar for Rockies baseball, if you haven’t already done so.
Here are the games I’m most looking forward to in 2021:
Thursday, April 1 - Los Angeles Dodgers @ Coors Field - 2:10 pm MDT
It’s the home opener, the defending World Series champion, and a division rival...what more do you want?! It also looks as if it might be the first time some fans have been able to take in a game at Coors Field since the end of the 2019 season, something to celebrate in and of itself. On paper, the Rockies will be completely outmatched by the Dodgers here, but maybe they can feed off the Opening Day energy and have whatever fans may be present carry them to victory.
Tuesday, April 20 - Houston Astros @ Coors Field - 6:40 MDT
On the list of teams sorted by “reasons to hate the Astros,” the Rockies don’t rank particularly high, but that doesn’t mean fans (and players) don’t still have a sour taste in their mouths after the Astros cheating scandal was exposed last year. Houston may have avoided the initial fan backlash last year “thanks” to the pandemic, but sports fans don’t forget quickly and you can bet Rockies fans will be giving the Astros a hard time when they come to town.
Friday, May 7 - St. Louis Cardinals @ Busch Stadium - 6:15 pm MDT
Welp. It’s going to be awful and you might have to keep your tissues close by but this will be our first chance to see Nolan wearing Cardinal red (assuming you can avoid it up until that point). Surely we’ll get some good moments before the game of Nolan reuniting with his old teammates, and hopefully he’ll take it easy on the Rockies as a sign of gratitude. Regardless, watching Nolan play will always be a joy, just less so when he’s not wearing purple.
Monday, May 10 - San Diego Padres @ Coors Field - 6:40 pm MDT
Believe it or not, this will be the Rockies first matchup of the year with their division rivals who, by most accounts, were the big winners of the off-season. The Padres made a dizzying amount of moves in an attempt to catch up with the Dodgers, most notably grabbing two top starters in Blake Snell and Yu Darvish. I’d be lying if I said this team wasn’t fun to watch last year and I can imagine it will be more of the same this year. Much to the chagrin of the Rockies and their fans, this team has loads of talent and a lot of it is quite young (see: Fernando Tatís Jr.)
Friday, May 28 - Pittsburgh Pirates @ PNC Park - 4:35 pm MDT
Alright two of the worst teams on paper going into the season doesn’t seem like appointment television, but hey, if projections are accurate, the Rockies should be a handful of games better than the Pirates. That makes this battle one where the Rockies would have the upper hand, something that looks like it won’t happen often this year. The end of May is too early for this kind of talk but if things are as bad as expected, this will at least be a matchup of two teams looking for the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s draft. Not to mention PNC Park is one of the best in baseball.
Thursday, July 1 - St. Louis Cardinals @ Coors Field - 6:40 pm MDT
This will be the second coming of Nolan Arenado pain but given all he gave to this franchise, he deserves the warmest of welcomes in his first game back at Coors Field. He may have left on relatively bad terms, but that mostly pertains to the front office and fans love Nolan — something that won’t change when he comes to town as a member of the Cardinals. Whatever fans are in the stadium at that point of the season will be on their feet whenever he’s introduced, and I for one am looking forward to whatever video montage the Rockies staff puts together to play on the big screen. Once again, keep your tissues close.
Sunday, October 3 - Arizona Diamondbacks @ Chase Field - 1:10 pm MDT
It’s not a great sign for your franchise if the final game of the season is listed as a must-watch, but no matter how the Rockies fare during 2021 this game can be listed as a positive. Barring a shocking turn of events which sees the team play quality baseball, there’s a chance this game could have wild card implications. A little far fetched? Maybe. But that’s the fun of baseball. In late February and March, everyone can dream about their team making a run at October baseball. On the opposite end of the spectrum if the Rockies are as bad as advertised, this game will be a little send-off to the year that was. Hopefully by then we’ll at least have an idea of where this team is headed.
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As much as Rockies fans (myself included) have expressed their discontent with the club throughout the offseason, most of us are here because we love baseball and that probably didn’t change this winter. No matter what happens off the field, we love to watch the Rockies, and I for one, can’t wait for the team to be back on the diamond. Let me know what games you’re most excited to watch in the comments!
On a completely unrelated note, here’s Charlie Blackmon at his best, giving us a laugh
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Brendan Rodgers has been next up for years for the Rockies, but a plethora of injuries and the traffic jam in the Rockies infield has prevented him from getting a chance to fully break out. This year, he’s ready to piece it all together and is gunning for the second base opening in the line-up.
Speaking with Rockies reporter Thomas Harding, Rodgers said he’s feeling good this year and is ready to prove himself at camp.
“You haven’t seen me be me. I’m ready to be me.”
The former number three overall pick arrived at camp five pounds heavier than last year and is hoping an improved diet and cleaned up approach to “going about my business” will mean he’s ready to take over at second in 2021.
1, 2, 20, 25, and 29. These are the five spots held by the NL West teams in Bleacher Report’s first Power Rankings of the 2021 season with spring training officially underway. The two unfortunate realities here are that you probably know which spot the Rockies hold, and (spoiler alert) the two best teams in all of baseball are in their division, and not them.
Alas, these are just pre-season predictions and anything can happen once the season gets going, even if it’s fairly safe to assume the Rockies won’t make their way into those one and two spots by the end of the year. At the very least, the Rockies will get a chance to play a lot of games against two of the best clubs in baseball, and, hopefully, learn from all the things they’re doing right.
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