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What Better Day to do a Rockies Top-Five Games?

By Alex Patterson

Today is one of the better unofficial holidays of the year. 303 day, a celebration of Colorado heritage. Appropriate ways of celebrating are, but no limited to: wearing jerseys of the Colorado sports teams in as many ways as possible, enjoying some Rocky Mountain Oysters, skiing or hiking (since it was a fantastic day today), and rocking out to some local artists while making the famous 303 hand signal. So, in my own way, I’ll celebrate by reminiscing on some of my favorite Rockies games of all time. Here’s my top five (really it’s six, but its’ my list).

Tie-5. August 22nd, 2000. Brent Mayne, the catcher, gets his first and only win of his career when he comes in to pitch in the 12th inning after the Rockies had used up their pitchers in a 7-6 win. This game had everything: a catcher becoming the winning pitcher, a brawl, homers, entertainment, and the game-winning hit was delivered by a rookie for his first ever hit. What a way to end a game. Best Moment: had to be the brawl involving Andres Galarraga. Former Rockie, playing as a Brave, going after the pitcher for really no apparent reason. Awesome. (Side note: this game is extra special because I attended this game, and got put on the scoreboard doing the chicken dance. Bonus for this one. Extra side note: The next five all took place within 4 weeks of each other. Can you guess when?)

Tie-5. October 27th, 2007. The World Series finally comes to Denver. That alone makes it special and should make it a top five, or at least a top ten game, for any Rockies fan. Even though this game was a loss, many fans would give an appendage to see their team in the World Series. Nothing to be ashamed of to lose to a team that came in hot, and was pretty good to begin with, and the Rockies hadn’t played in 9 days. Nothing wrong with being the second best team in the entire league. Best Moment: Matt Holliday’s home run that cut the game to a one run lead for the Red Sox. The Rockies were never closer, and the crowd was never louder, than that. (Side not: I also attended this game, which might be why I feel strongly about this game.)

4. To be fair, my 1-4 could be in any order, but this is how I chose them. September 30th, 2007. The Rockies needed a win and a Padres loss to clinch a play-in game. The Brewers helped out our Blake Street Brethren by beating the Padres badly. The Rocks responded with a gritty 4-3 win. Best Moment: several. The crowd reacting to every run the Brewers scored against the Padres, then the final out with Todd Helton jumping around in what looked like excitement he was trying to hold in but failed miserably, and lastly, the victory lap around the stadium by the team. (Side note: I attended this game as well. Maybe I’m just biased with my picks)

3. October 15th, 2007. The Rockies finished off a sweep of the Diamondbacks with a 6-4 victory. Not much to say about this game, since the best parts happened in the last inning. Best moment: Eric Byrnes, the hated outfielder for the D-Backs, was, fittingly, the final out of the game. As Helton caught the throw from Troy Tulowitzki to record the final out, he raised his fists in triumph and screamed. It’s a picture that will live in the minds of baseball fans for a long time.

2. October 1st, 2007. The play-in game. What more need be said? A baseball game couldn’t have more to it. The game had controversy with the slide by Matt Holliday and, not many people remember this, Garrett Atkins hitting what looked like a home run only to have the umpires not see the ball go over the fence, giving him a double. He didn’t score in the inning, and if he had, the game might never have gone to extra innings in the first place. This game had the best pitcher in baseball getting beat up by the Rockies, and the best closer ever blowing a two-run lead. The game had passion, the game had drama, and, most importantly, the game had great fans cheering on a great team. What else could this game have had? Best moment: while teammates wanted to celebrate with Holliday after his slide, he wouldn’t let them due to injury. So the team piled up around Jamey Carroll, the guy who hit the game-winning sacrifice fly.

1. September 18th, 2007. The day started with a day game against the Dodgers, and the Rockies literally couldn’t lose a game the rest of the season to make the postseason. The first game of the double header started with a solid 3-1 victory. The second game wasn’t looking so good. Down 8-5 going to the bottom of the 8th inning, the rally started. Ryan Spilborghs hit a two-run bomb, keeping hope alive and cutting the lead to a single run. But in the 9th, the Rockies would have to face Takashi Saito, the Dodgers closer who had not given up a hit to the Rockies all season. Matt Holliday ended that streak with a two-out single to right, setting the stage for Todd Helton. All Todd did after that was hit a walk-off blast, with two strikes no less! Best moment: Helton (notice a trend) throwing his helmet as he rounded third base and diving into a pile of his teammates at home plate, showing how much getting to the postseason meant to him. The team responded, and the rest is history.

Not a bad top five, eh?

1 comment:

  1. My favorite game of all time was last year. It was an evening game against the Braves. It was cold but I couldn't have had a better time. The guy in front of me was seventyish. He bought a hot dog for five consecutive innings and ate them all, and then in the seventh he cought a foul ball without dropping his dog. Really impressive stuff.