Rocks St. Louis
June 30, 2005.
Rocks blow chance to win series
June 29, 2005.
Rocket Rocks
Clemens shuts Rocks down on 4 hits through 7
June 28, 2005. Roger Clemens at 43 showed the Rockies how to pitch at Molson Field, mowing down all comers except for a homerun by Preston "Presto" Wilson who continues his hot streak. Unfortunately for the Astros, the relief pitching couldn't live up to Roger's standards, yielding 5 runs to Colorado in the bottom of the eighth, capped by Garret Atkins' Grand Slam. Their failure deprived the Rocket of his 335th.
Wright Off
Jamey Wright loses 12th in a row to Astros, 11-5
June 27, 2005. Jamey Wright can't beat the Astros. He never has. Maybe he never will. But Clint "Rube" Hurdle and the Colorado Rockies didn't care as they rolled him out there for another sure loss. After all, what is another defeat in what's shaping up to be the worst Rockies season ever?
Revenge, Part Trois
June 26, 2005. Francona must be ecstatic as his BoSox close out the hometown Phils 10-8 for the sweep of his former employers. The only thing that could have made it sweeter was if Bowa had been managing Philadelphia instead of the inoffensive Manual. Meanwhile, Buddy Bell is leaving town with his head held high, because even though his undermanned Kansas City Royals were swept on the Rockies home field, 9-4, he leaves knowing he is a proven manager with a solid future with his club. Hurdle, on the other hand is staring over the abyss that represents the end of his baseball career and hanging on desperately.
Revenge, Part Deux
June 25, 2005. Terry Francona is still smiling as the Red Sox blow out the Phils for the 2nd day in a row. Buddy Bell, on the other hand isn't getting any satisfaction at all as his team not only loses but he has to listen to unctuous prattle from "Rube" Hurdle.
Revenge Tour Begins
with mixed results as Sox win, Royals lose
June 24, 2005. Terry Francona has a legitimate beef to settle with Philadelphia Phillies. They hired him with the understanding that he had five years to build the team into a winner, then fired him a little more than half way through. Worse, they replaced him with Larry Bowa, which is a bit like being told your successor is a rabid pit bull. Francona has had the last laugh, of course, as he was hired by Boston who currently tour as the defending World Champions. On the flip side, Bowa reduced a talented Phillies team into feuding losers, and chased away talented players that will haunt the Phils for decades.

Francona had another laugh Friday as his first place Red Sox barbecued the Phillies on their turf to the tune of 8-0.

In Denver, Kansas City's new manager Buddy Bell is probably owed even more by Colorado and their current manager Clint Hurdle. Just as it looked like Bell was beginning to move the Rockies in the right direction with consistent, professional management, he was fired in mid-season with very little in the way of explanation. It turns out that Hurdle, whom Bell graciously kept on instead of replacing with a competent hitting instructor, had spent his every waking moment undermining Bell and trying to get him fired. Hurdle succeeded, and very nearly killed Bell's management career permanently (Understandably, there is very little demand for former Rockies managers).

Despite holding the moral high ground, Bell's Royals were beaten by the Rockies 12-4 at Denver. So much for payback.   

Rocks Stomp Royals
June 24, 2005.
Rockies lose to Astros Again
June 22, 2005.
Rockies lose to Astros Again
June 21, 2005.
Rockies lose to Astros
June 20, 2005.
 
Colorado Blows Chance to Win First Road Series

June 19, 2005.

Rockies return to their losing ways with 7-2 loss at Camden Yard
June 18, 2005. Eddy Garabito hit his first major league homerun against the team that kept him in the minors for 9 years. Marcos Carvajal pitched 3 2/3 innings of one-run, 5 strikeout relief and Todd Helton had two doubles. Garabito, Ryan Shealy, and Luis Gonzalez all had two-hit days as well. But it wasn't even close, with Byung-Hyun Kim giving up 6 in less than 4.
A Rockies Road Win!
2-1 victory over AL East leading Baltimore Orioles
June 17, 2005. Jason Jennings pitched brilliantly and Todd Helton hit his first homerun in 28 games as Colorado raised their road record to 5 wins and 26 losses (.161).
Another losing gem by Jamey Wright as the Rockies complete the sweep in Cleveland with 2-1 loss
June 16, 2005.
Dispiriting loss in Cleveland as Rockies blow 6-2 lead and lose in extra innings
June 15, 2005.  If only it had been Pat Boone instead of Aaron Boone at the plate in the bottom of the 11th. The 70-year-old crooner would certainly not have dashed Colorado fan's hopes for a rare road victory by lofting a monstrous homerun out of Jacobs Field. Even if he had, he certainly wouldn't have rubbed their faces in it like Aaron and his teammates did with a jubilant celebration at home plate. After all, they had merely beaten perhaps the worst road team in the history of baseball, not won the World Series or anything. Maybe it has gotten so bad that teams are so humiliated if they lose to Colorado on the road, that they are desperate. After all, only four teams have lost a single game to the Rox on the road: the Phillies, Cubs, Reds, and Pirates.
Back to the Road, Losing

June 14, 2005.

Rockies Win Game, Series From Bengals

June 12, 2005.

Tigers Bite Back

June 11, 2005.

Wright On!
Jamey Wright stifles Tigers in lowest scoring game in Coors history (tie)
June 10, 2005. Garret Atkins hit a two-run homer to provide all of the scoring while Wright pitched 6-hit ball into the 8th inning. Jay Witasick and Brian Fuentes finished up, yielding only 1 hit the rest of the way. It is only the third 2-0 game in Coors history, and the first since 2002.
 
Rockies Beat Detroit

June 10, 2005.

White Sox complete sweep of Rockies at home with 15-5 blowout
June 8, 2005.
White Sox complete sweep of Rockies at home with 15-5 blowout
June 8, 2005.
White Sox complete sweep of Rockies at home with 15-5 blowout
June 8, 2005.
Trips in Ninth Trips Rox
6-3 loss closer than it looks
May 12, 2005. All the Rockies needed from newly acquired reliever David Cortes was a hold in the ninth and they had the Diamondbacks right where they wanted them. But like so many others before him, he couldn't do it. Instead, he dished up some juicy gopher balls to Arizona's Jose Cruz and Tony Clark who knocked them out of the park along with the home team's chances.
White Sox complete sweep of Rockies at home with 15-5 blowout
June 8, 2005.
White Sox complete sweep of Rockies at home with 15-5 blowout
June 7, 2005.
White Sox complete sweep of Rockies at home with 15-5 blowout
June 6, 2005.
Rockies Win 4th in a Row!
Defeat Reds in Denver for First Series Sweep, 8-6
June 5, 2005. Todd Greene knocked in 3 and Todd Helton had his first 2 hit game in weeks as the Rockies climbed to unheard of heights by winning their 4th in a row, the first time they have won more than 2 consecutive games this year.
Heading for First Sweep of the Season, Beating Reds 7-5
June 4, 2005.
Rockies Romp Reds, 12-4
June 3, 2005.
Rockies Earn Home Split With Best Team in the National League, 8-7
June 2, 2005.
Cardinals Prevail, 8-6
June 1, 2005.
Rockies Win Rare Close Game in Denver, 2-1
May 31, 2005.
Cards Rude Guests as they beat Homers, 5-4
May 30, 2005.
Rubber Game Ruined as Bruins Bomb Rox, 11-6
May 29, 2005.
Cubs Win, 5-1
May 28, 2005.
Chalupaed in Chicago, 10-3
May 27, 2005.
Fourth Road Win at Cubs Expense, 5-2
May 26, 2005.
Lambasted by the Lake, 11-1
May 25, 2005.
Manhandled in Milwaukee, 6-1
May 24, 2005.
Beaten by Brewers, 2-1
May 23, 2005.
Eked out third road win, 4-3
May 22, 2005.
Pummeled in Pittsburgh to the tune of 8-3
May 21, 2005.
Gen-R Loses First of 10 on the Road
Pummeled in Pittsburgh to the tune of 9-4
May 20, 2005. The young Rockies increased their leads in worst road record (2-16) and most errors (31) in all of Major League baseball. That was no shock. What was surprising was that Jamey Wright was the second best road pitcher in baseball with a 1.37 ERA until he gave up 4 runs tonight, and he hadn't made an error in over a year until he made two in the same game. Surprisingly, most of the game was close, with the slimy Pirates clenching a 3-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. Then the bottom fell out as the Road Jinx reared its ugly head and the Pitts scored 6 to seal the deal. Garret Atkins and Cory Sullivan had homeruns for the Rox, with Holliday and Hawpe, the "H" boys, plating the other 2 tallies with a ground out and a sacrifice fly. Wright lowered his record to 2-4, yielding 4 runs in 6 frames, while Kim allowed 5 and Carvajal none in 1 inning stints.
Francis Does it Again!
Young hurler shuts down Giants as Rox win 3-1
May 19, 2005. Jeff Francis improved his lifetime record to 5-0 at Coors, and his season mark to 4-1 with another scintillating performance. Francis is now second in initial wins in Denver behind Darren Oliver's 6, as he lowered his ERA at home to 2.92. The lowest-scoring game of the year helped the Rockies finish the homestand at 5 and 5, winning two of the three series. Luis Gonzalez and Garret Atkins knocked solo homers in the second and sixth innings, respectively. Cory Sullivan doubled home Desi Relaford in the fifth, on his way to a 3 for 4 day, raising his average to .318. Francis' only mistake that counted resulted in a solo homer by Lance Niekro in the 6th. Jose Acevedo, Jay Witasick and Brian Fuentes cleaned up like real Major Leaguers. The Rockies will be back in town on Monday, May 30th to begin a four game series with Larry Walker and the defending National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals. Jeff Francis will probably get his next start on June 3rd against the Cincinnati Reds to try to tie the record for opening wins at Coors. Get your tickets now!
Another Gut-Wrenching One Run Loss Redux
Fuentes can't hold 'em in the ninth
May 18, 2005.
 
Another Gut-Wrenching One Run Loss Redux
Fuentes can't hold 'em in the ninth
May 17, 2005.
 
Another Gut-Wrenching One Run Loss Redux
Fuentes can't hold 'em in the ninth
May 16, 2005.
 
Another Gut-Wrenching One Run Loss
Colorado misses chance to win homestand, split series with Arizona
May 15, 2005. One hit in the 8th or 9th would have tied it or won it for the Rockies, but no one, not even the "Basher", Clint Barnes or even the great Todd Helton was able to get it when the chips were down. As a result, the men in black lost by a single tally, 5-4. Jason Jennings pitched well by only giving up 5 runs in six and a third innings, but ultimately failed again in his bid to become the winningest pitcher ever at Coors Field. He remains tied with Pedro Astacio at 24. The hitting stars for Colorado were Preston Wilson at 3 for 4 with two doubles, and Garret Atkins, 1 for 3 with a homer. Former Rockie Shawn Estes started for the 'Backs and raised his record to 4-3, while Jennings dropped to 1-5.
Diamondbacks Bite Back
10-4 beating ends Rockies' one game streak
May 14, 2005. Brandon Web tacked on another win to continue his unbeaten season at 5 and 0, by going 8 innings and allowing 4 runs. The other starter, one Jamey Wright continued his Jekyll and Hyde season by yielding 7 runs in 7 innings, dropping his record to 2-3, and 14-18 with an ERA of 6.91 lifetime at Coors Field. Helton continued his hot streak by going 3-3, but the rest of the team only managed 6 hits.
"Basher" Barmes Brings Blake St. Blowout
18-3 mauling proves Friday the 13th unlucky for snakes
May 13, 2005. Clint "Basher" Barmes slugged two homeruns and a double to back another strong effort by starter Jeff Francis, and render manager Clint Hurdle's words prophetic.  He declared on the radio pre-game show that the number 13 has always been lucky for him, which is why it is his uniform number. It didn't bode well for the visiting Diamondbacks and their shell-shocked starting pitcher, Brad Halsey. He trudged off the field with the demeanor of someone who had just gone 8 rounds with a couple of crazed kangaroos after giving up 8 runs in 4 innings. The Heat City relief staff didn't fare any better as Kerry Ligtenberg and former Rockie Javy Lopez each surrendered 5 runs in the next three frames before Jose Valverde stopped the bleeding with a scoreless 8th.  That probably was due to the Rockies exhaustion rather than great pitching. The crew from Three Digit Temperature Town may take solace in the fact that they are still 9 games ahead of the Rockies who have won only 10 games so far.

While Barmes was going 3 for 6 with dual dingers, a double and 5 ducks rescued from the pond, Matt Holliday broke out of his slump with 4 opposite-field hits, 3 runs and 2 RBI, and Garret Atkins slugged his first 4-bagger of the season to contribute 3 RBI.

Notes: In light of Barmes' incredible start, the Observer has changed his nickname from "Budget" to "Basher", which seems more appropriate under the circumstances, although both are accurate. The crowd was announced at 20,233, but fewer than half appeared to be in attendance.  With the win, the Rockies even their home record at 8-8.

Colorado Starts Win Streak
8-3 road win, 2 homeruns could turn season around
 
May 8, 2005. Clint Barmes raised his average to .404 by going 2 for 4 with a three run, inside-the-park homerun. Aaron Miles chipped in with a grand slam homer as the Rockies busted out of their 10-game losing streak with their second road victory against 15 losses. Jeff Francis was the winning pitcher, completing 6-2/3 innings, yielding two runs enroute to his second victory of the season assisted by Jay Witasick and Marcos Carvajal, who only gave up 1 more run the rest of the way.
10 in a Row
6-21 record last in Baseball and worst in Rockies' history
 
May 7, 2005. Shawn Chacon walked 9 as the Rockies lost their 10th in a row and 7th in a row to the Marlins, 4-1.
Nine in a Row, Oh No
7-0 loss to Dontrelle Willis and Florida
 
May 6, 2005. Clint Hurdle demonstrated his awesome gift for motivating the raw talent and youthful exuberance of "Generation R" to roll to a study in futility of legendary proportions. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the same management team that has been preaching patience and telling everyone not to expect anything until next year at least, is acting as if they promised an undefeated season. First "Meats" predicts a first place finish, then his crew has gone into total desperation mode. "Dealing" Dan is burning up the airways looking for anyone who can stop the bleeding, while Hurdle is shuffling the line up like some crazed dealer as if the same faces in different places might make some difference. Well, at least they were spared another one-run decision. After four of those in a row, it must have been refreshing to experience a no-doubt blowout.
Rockies Lose 8th Straight
8-7 Loss to Padres in 12 is 13th of 14 on the road
 
May 4, 2005. They staged a miracle comeback, and even had a lead in the ninth, but it ended as most of their games have, in a loss by the narrowest of margins. In the end, they have only themselves to blame. Marcos "Rule 5" Carvajal, one of the few bright spots on the team as the youngest player in the Major Leagues at 20, came into the game having not given up a run in almost 10 innings of relief and ended up the loser, with little help from his team or his manager, as usual. Marcos made mistakes, to be sure, by hitting Mark Loretta and walking Brian Giles, but then he struck out sluggers Phil Nevin and Ryan Klesko, the latter of which had already hit two mighty homerun bashes on the day, including the tying bomb in the 9th. The wonder rookie then seemed to end the inning by getting Miguel Ojeda to fly out deep to center, but the ball was mis-played by center fielder Corey Sullivan and dropped on the warning track for the game-winner.
 
Close, but...
Another gem by a Colorado starter wasted in 2-1 loss
 
May 3, 2005. Former Rockie Damian Jackson, in his first game after being recalled from the minors, lined a two-out RBI double in the 8th to beat his ex-teammates, 2-1. Jamey Wright struck out 9 while walking only two in 6 and 1/3 innings, with the only blemish courtesy of a 414 foot blast by a resurgent Ryan Klesko.
Jennings Throws Gem as CO Skunks LA
Stunning 9-1 win against Baseball's hottest team
 
April 22, 2005. The
Phils Comeback Throws Rox Road Loss
Ex-Phil Relaford's heroics not enough to send Colorado home with a win
 
April 21, 2005. The Rockies zoomed to a 3-0 lead on the Phillies and Jon Leiber thanks to utility man and ex-Phil Desi Relaford, who singled in a run in the first and slugged a two-run dinger in the fourth. But starter Joe "No Relation" Kennedy couldn't hold it when Jim Thome and Todd Pratt returned the favor with twin two-run homers in the bottom of the same inning. The home team tacked in two more in the seventh off Scott "Doh!" Dohmann, who actually reduced his ERA to 19.06 by only giving up 2 runs in one inning.
Rockies Beat Phils for First Road Win
Philadelphia Pitchers Can't Contain Surging Colorado, 7-4
 
April 20, 2005.
Clint Cowed by Crowd
Rox Bats Explode for decisive 8-1 victory in front of smallest crowd ever
 
April 19, 2005. When Clint "Rube" Hurdle strode to the mound to remove starter Jeff Francis, he was dismayed by the ear-splitting boos emanating from the tiny crowd and changed his mind, skulking back to the dugout without removing the stellar hurler. One batter later, the confused skipper decided to show the crowd who was boss and pulled Francis. After the game, Hurdle denied that he was going to pull Francis on the first visit, though no one could remember him ever going to the mound and not pulling the pitcher in his entire short but stunningly unsuccessful career.
Diamondbacks Drub Co Relievers

Ryan Speier melts down as Rox blow lead and lose 5-3

April 18, 2005.

 

Giants Take Series
Kim serves up Michael Tucker Grand Slam as Giants complete comeback, 8-6
 
April 17, 2005. Jeff Baker had 3 hits, Todd Helton hit his first homerun of the season and Jason Jennings struck out 8. Jennings left the game leading 5-3, but Kim loaded the bases on walks and then grooved a pitch to Tucker who took it way out to right to put the Giants ahead 7-5. Both teams scored a run in the 9th for the final margin.
Win Number 2
Tsao barely saves it, 5-4
 
April 16, 2005. The Rockies looked like a good team for eight innings. Effective pitching, tight defense, strategic hitting including good bunts and clutch hits, the kind of things fans expect from well-coached, disciplined baseball teams. The kind of things you very seldom see in RockiesLand. Some fans even attributed the strategy to Hurdle, screaming "Genius" when the Rockies got a run on what appeared to be well-executed squeeze bunt, but was probably just a happy accident.
Giants Crush Helpless Rockies Again
Feliz slugs Grand Slam, 13-6
 
April 15, 2005. Clint Barmes went 4 for 5 with 2 homeruns and Preston "Presto" Wilson also hit a round-tripper, but Jamey Wright gave up 9 runs in 4 innings and the Rockies never got close while being shelled by the San Francisco Giants. "Doh!" Dohmann gave up another homerun and 4 earned runs in two innings of relief.
Winless on the Road
4-run seventh cooks Colorado, 5-2
 
April 13, 2005. Jeff "Not Bitter" Francis may have his nickname changed to just "Bitter" if his colleagues in the Colorado bullpen continue their pattern of blowing games after startlingly good performances by starters. Francis became the latest casualty when reliever Byung Kim gave up 4 runs on 2 hits in the seventh to his former teammates, the Arizona Diamondbacks, who won their 4th game in a row. The Rockies have now lost 10 road games in a row, continuing a streak begun last season.
Worst Start Ever!
Rockies lose to Diamondbacks 2-0
 
April 12, 2005. Jason Jennings gave up two runs in the first, then that was it for both teams. A brilliant performance by the Rockies ace, only to be outdone by Arizona's Bradford A. Halsey. Who? Beats the Observer, never heard of him either. From now on, he will probably be known as Brad "The Rockies Killer" Halsey. The only one not fooled by Bradford was Todd "Pops" Helton who was three for three, all singles, after being beaned in the first inning.
Week 1 in review:
  • Well, at least the record is no worse than last year.
  • At least 3 of their losses have to be blamed mainly on bad coaching.
  • Totally lacking in patience, and blaming the pitchers for their own incompetence, the team has already begun shaking up the relief pitching staff. Allan "Bart" Simpson was traded to the Reds for Jose Acevedo. Minor league outfielder Reggie Taylor was traded to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for lefty Bobby Seay.
7 Run Fifth Sinks Rockies; Giants Sweep
Jason Schmidt holds Rockies to 2 hits through 6
 
April 10, 2005. San Francisco 11, Colorado 4. The Rockies ended up with 10 hits, 8 after Schmidt left in the seventh, but all of them were singles. Joe "No Relation" Kennedy gave up 9 of the runs (8 earned), so you couldn't blame this one on the relief pitchers, especially 20-year old Marcos Carvajal who pitched two innings of 1-hit shutout relief. This was just another one of those head-scratchers when observers just had to wonder if the Rockies' coaching staff had fallen asleep, or lost interest, or were just to confused to realize that their pitcher had lost his stuff. In any case, by the time they figured it out, the score was 10-0 and it was too late to do anything about it.
"Doh!" Again
Dohmann gives up 4th homerun of the season
 
April 9, 2005. San Francisco 4, Colorado 2. Scott "Doh!" Dohmann actually got an out this time before giving up the game winning grand slam homerun to Michael Tucker. Dohmann also got his first loss of the season, his second blown save, and watched his ERA balloon to 32.40. Apparently Clint "Rube" Hurdle is intent on totally destroying the young pitcher's self confidence before cutting him or sending him to the minors, in the tradition of former Rockies' skipper Don Baylor.

The Rockies' runs came on a ground ball double play by Luis Gonzalez in the 5th and a sacrifice fly by Preston Wilson in the 9th. Jamey Wright's excellent starting effort, allowing only 1 run on 3 hits in 7 and third innings was wasted.

Pitcher Lives Up To Nickname
Rockies lose by the Bay
 
April 8, 2005. Scott "Doh!" Dohmann gave up a 3-run homerun to Marquis Grissom of the Giants in the bottom of the ninth as the home team overcame a 2 run deficit to beat Colorado 10-8. The Rockies scored all 8 of their runs in the 7th, the biggest road inning in their history, with the big blow a 3-run homerun off the bat of catcher Todd "Jolly" Green. Brain Fuentes took the loss for the Rockies, while Dohmann raised his ERA to 20.25 in earning his first blown save and giving up his 3rd homerun of the young season.
Bad Coaching Costs Team
Boneheaded moves reminiscent of Don Baylor
 
April 6, 2005. San Diego 14, Colorado 6. After nearly blowing the opening day game by leaving the starter in too long, the Colorado brain trust proceeded to completely remove any chance of winning game 2 with crucial brain-dead moves. First, the pitching coach went to the mound in the second inning to talk to starter Jason Jennings. Everyone in the stadium figured he was telling the Rockies' ace to walk or at least pitch around the current batter, Brian Giles, a left handed swinger who had already hit Jennings hard to the tune of a 3-run homer in the first inning. But noooo.... Apparently pitching coach Bob Apodaca told Jason to throw a fastball right down the middle so the Padres' right fielder could tee off on it, which he did, for a two RBI double, extending the visitors' lead to 5-1.

 

After the Rockies clawed back into contention at 7-5 in the seventh, Hurdle brought in Allan "Bart" Simpson in relief. Simpson demonstrated that he could not pitch this day by only throwing 3 strikes in his first 18 pitches. Did Hurdle and Apodaca notice what the entire crowd was trying to tell them? No, they waited until Simpson's self confidence was totally destroyed and the game was totally out of hand. A good bullpen coach would have noticed Simpson did not have command. A good pitching coach would have noticed by the time he walked the first two batters, at least. A half-decent manager would have save the young hurler from embarrassment, and the young team from a traumatic loss by pulling him out before the first run crossed the plate. Clint "Rube" Hurdle, in his usual arrogant, classless way, blamed the whole situation on the pitchers. Now that's the way to build a confident, winning team, isn't it? He piled on the distraught Simpson by hinting to the press that he may send him back to the minors before the team leaves for their first road trip to San Francisco. Remember good managers that took the blame whenever the team lost? Never in Denver, of course.

 

We in Denver have seen what the difference is between a team with good young players and an inexperienced coach and the same team with a proven, successful leader in the case of the Denver Nuggets NBA team. With Jeff Bzdelik the Nuggets were nearly the worst team in the league; With George Karl they are the best by far. Clint Hurdle is the latest Jeff Bzdelik of the Rockies. 

 

It's not rocket science folks. You would think even "Meats" Monford could figure it out.

Opening Day 2005 Surprising Success
Possibly the most entertaining ever as Rockies win 12-10
 
April 4, 2005. If you let your mind wander you would have sworn you were watching the classic Rockies. There was even a number 33 and number 10 slamming balls out of the park. The pitching was giving up runs, the manager was leaving the starter in too long, but the crowd never faltered in their confidence that the magical team would pull out the win on this magical day, and the team performed as the crowd willed them to, with timely hits and booming homerun blasts.

 

Yes, fans, your Colorado Rockies are undefeated and in first place with the best record in baseball after pounding out 18 hits to beat the heir-apparent to the NL West crown (the San Diego Padres) and one of the best relievers in baseball history (Trevor Hoffman).

 

The lead see-sawed throughout the contest, with the Rockies grabbing a quick 4-0 advantage in the bottom of the first on doubles by Miles and Barmes and a first-pitch 4-bagger by Preston "Presto" Wilson. The Padres struck back in the top of the third on dingers by right fielder Brian Giles and first baseman Phil Nevin to close it to 4-3. Colorado extended the difference to 6-3 in the bottom of that frame on a two-run blast from the bat of Jim "Hot Bat" Baker.  The home team pushed it to 7-3 in the 5th courtesy of a Holliday triple and an RBI single by "Less" Mohr.

 

Not to be outdone, the So Cal visitors exploded for 5 tallies in the top of the sixth when it appeared Rockies' manager Clint "Rube" Hurdle was the only one in the Stadium or the surrounding environs who was unaware that starter Joe "No Relation" Kennedy was used up and needed to be replaced. Instead, the Padres teed off on the exhausted hurler, with a three run homer by Padres center fielder Xavier Nady, closing the margin to 7-6 and chasing Joe to the bench. Javier "Javy II" Lopez and Allan "Bart" Simpson finished up the inning by giving up 2 additional runs to the opposition, relinquishing the lead 8-7.

 

The Rocks tied it at 8 each in the last of the 6th off former Rockie Rudy Seanez with another double by Miles and a single by "Pops" Helton.

 

San Diego took the lead once more in the 7th on back-to-back homeruns off the bats of Catcher Ramon Hernandez and Nady against Colorado's Scott "Doh!" Dohmann.

 

And so it remained until the bottom of the 9th, when Hoffman came on for the Padres and started the inning by getting two of the first three batters out as Mohr flew out and JD "Just Defense" Closser grounded to second, sandwiched around a double by Jeff Baker. Then the bottom fell out for the Padres as Cory "Surprise" Sullivan, the Spring MVP, pinch hit and rocketed a double down the third base line, followed by a single by Miles, his fifth hit of the day. That set the stage for Barmes' heroics, and the rest, as they say, is history.

 

It was a day of firsts, with Barmes' first walk-off homer at any level also the first game ending homerun on opening day by a rookie in major league history, Speier's first Major League victory, Sullivan's first game and hit, Baker's first game and homerun, Miles first 5-hit game, Marcos Carvajal the youngest Rockie ever, and on and on.

 

Those of us who stayed and celebrated feel sorry for those thousands of fans that gave up after the seventh and headed for the exits. All Rockies fans should know by now that no matter who is out there on the field, opening day in Denver is a magical time and miracles often happen.

 

The Observer is not inclined to give in to the excesses of say, Charles Monfort, but he admits that he feels a little bit better about the 2005 version of the Mile High baseballers - why, they may even win 70 games!