Game 30: Coors Field, Denver, CO
Cincinnati Reds vs Colorado Rockies – Saturday, August 31, 2o13
We took a late morning flight out of Phoenix that brought us into Denver just before 3 in the afternoon. By the time we took a shuttle to our hotel, checked in, and posted our Diamondbacks blog, it was around 4:30 PM. We got on the complimentary Mall-Ride bus service right in front of the hotel and were dropped off just a few blocks away from Coors Field. We then walked to the ballpark and got there about an hour before game time. We were a little worried as the skies were overcast and we felt a few drops. We really hoped this game didn’t get rained out. It would be a tough one to make up.
We were still able to walk around Coors Field and take a few pictures. Just before going in, we bought a hat and ball from a gentleman who was selling them outside the main gate. We struck up a conversation with him and it turned out that he had actually lived in Waterville, ME back in 1969. How about that?! What are the odds?! Small world!
We walked inside Coors Field and had enough time to stroll around the main concourse on level one and take pictures before heading to our seats that were located just behind (and to the right of) home plate. We had a great view of the action and the main scoreboard. Shortly afterward, we were joined by former Thamattoor student, Claire Herbig ’13. We had seen Claire and her grandfather just a few weeks earlier at the Giants game in San Francisco, and it was good to see her again.
The game turned out to be a lopsided affair as the Rockies got rocked. Cincinnati plated two runs in the first inning even as the fans were just getting into their seats. Former Indian, Shin-Soo Choo drew a lead-off walk and scored on an exciting triple to right center by another former Indian Brandon Phillips. Phillips then came home on a grounder to short by Joey Votto. Phillips had a monster night. He smacked a solo shot in the third to right center to put the Reds up 3-0 and also had a double in the fifth. He fell just a single shy of a cycle. The Reds scored three more in the fifth. With the bases loaded, the new pitcher Wilton Lopez, who came on in relief of Rockies starter Juan Nicasio, balked in a run even before throwing his first pitch to make it 4-0. He then gave up a two-run single to Ryan Ludwick and the visitors were sitting pretty at 6-0. Meanwhile, the Reds’ starter Greg Reynolds, a former Rockies pitcher, was twirling a beauty. He also made a spectacular defensive play in the third to kill a Rockies rally. In the fifth, however, he gave up a run when pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco hit a double to center to score Charlie Blackmon, who had singled earlier. The Reds would get that run right back in the sixth. Reynolds, showing that he is no bunny with a bat, scorched a double to left, advanced to third on a single by Choo, and finally scored on Votto’s single up the middle. Reynolds again displayed his offensive skills in the eighth when he laid down a perfect bunt to advance Zack Cozart, who had singled earlier, to third. The next batter Choo hit a double to center plating Cozart and the score was now 8-1. The Rockies cut the lead to 8-3 in the eighth on a two-run homer to right by Corey Dickerson, and that ended up being the game’s final score.
Although the game itself did not give the home fans much to cheer about, they were up on their feet and making a lot of noise every time their first baseman Todd Helton came to bat. Helton, a Colorado native who has been with the Rockies for a long time, was sitting on 2,499 hits and the crowd wanted to see him get to 2,500. Alas, that milestone was not to be on this day as Helton went 0-4. He did hit a deep fly ball to center in his first at-bat that looked like it might leave the yard, but Choo was able to track it down and make a nice catch. Helton struck out swinging in each of his next three at-bats.
During the game, the two of us walked around the ballpark with Claire as we took in the action from different angles and snapped a lot of pictures. When we got up to the highest tier, one of the ushers pointed out the row of purple seats, clearly set off from all the other green seats, which marked a distance of one mile above sea level. Cool!
After the game, we walked with Claire to her car that was parked a couple of blocks away from the ballpark, bid goodbye to her, and, as it was a beautiful evening, headed toward our hotel on foot. It was fun to experience the energy in the city, even at 10 PM, as we walked down the 16th Avenue Mall. We saw some people playing chess, others playing music and singing, and a fairly large number of people walking or going by on horse-drawn carriages. We stopped in at the Hard Rock Café, which was just a block or so from our hotel, for dinner. It was a much larger café than the one in Phoenix and they had all kinds of really awesome exhibits. We took plenty of pictures.
Finally, we walked back to our hotel and turned in right away as we had to take an early morning shuttle to the airport.
We’ll catch up with you after we get back home. Bye now!