Series Preview: Colorado Rockies

MLB: Colorado Rockies at New York Mets

Headlines

Bart’s Big Bat Beaten: Clayton Kershaw was the victor in the anticipated match-up between the power pitcher and Mets’ slugger Bartolo Colon. Kershaw cruised against the Mets in general, striking out 13 in a 3-hit shutout

Big Ink, Big Sexy:  Colon’s homerun was memorable moment for sure, but one Mets fan guaranteed he’ll never forget the moment: Matt Sassi lost a bet due to the dinger, and as a result his right arm is now covered by Bartolo Colon and his lopsided helmet.

Marvel Mania: Noah Syndergaard displayed his godlike power, cracking two huge homeruns. Noah then went on to tweet Marvel Studios, offering to replace Chris Hemsworth in the next Marvel production. He offered up an acting reel for Marvel to consider where he trots around NYC in Thor’s traditional attire.

Flashback: Mile High History

Unfortunately, I was unsuccessful in lining up a Q&A for this series. To make up for my colossal failure,  I thought it would be fun to remember two key moments in Mets & Rockies history.

The Mets are actually huge part of the Colorado Rockies team history and the history of Coors Field. The Rockies first ever game was against the Mets on April 5, 1993. The blue and orange went on to win that one 3-0 behind a complete game effort from Doc Gooden, and a homerun from Bobby Bonilla. The Mets showed the expansion team no mercy, sweeping them in a three game set.

The first official game at Coors field occurred two years and twenty one days later – and it still considered one of the greatest games in Rockies franchise history. The lead changed an astounding ten times over fourteen innings (including ties). Although both the 1993 game and the 1995 game were historically significant, the events of the latter are far more interesting than the 1993 affair. This one is worth a closer look:

The Rockies raced out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Bobby Jones gave up a double to Dante Bichette and a sac fly to Larry Walker that brought Joe Girardi in to score from third. Larry Walker drove Girardi in for a second time in the bottom half of the third inning to extend the lead to 3-0. The Mets got on the board in the next half inning though, joe_girardi_autographwhen Rico Brogna hit the first homerun, a solo shot, in Coors Field history. Bobby Jones couldn’t keep the Mets close though, as he gave up a Girardi RBI double and Andres Galarraga RBI single in the fifth inning. Jerry Dipoto came in to relieve Bobby Jones and got Dante Bichette to fly out and end the inning. Rockies lead: 5-1.

It didn’t last long however. Rico Brogna started the sixth with a single. At first it appeared to be a wasted effort from Brogna, as Bobby Bonilla quickly flied out and Jeff Kent followed suit. Then things got interesting: David Segui and Carl Everett loaded the bases with ground ball singles; the latter of which was a weak roller to the left side of Rockies starting pitcher Bill Swift. Bill swiftly (hardy-har-har) got behind the Mets’ number eight hitter, Todd Hundley, who proceeded to launch a 2-1 pitch deep into stands in right field; This was the first grandslam at Coors Field (obviously). All tied up at 5-5.

In the bottom of the sixth – Dipoto gave up consecutive singles to Mike Kingery and Vinny jerrydipoto28929Castilla, then hit Roberto Mejia to load the bases. Mets skipper, Dallas Green, had enough and brought in Eric Gunderson from the bullpen. Eric Young Sr, Gunderson’s first batter, then produced an ultra rare bases-loaded fly-ball double-play sac-fly that scored Mike Kingery from third base. Gunderson struck out Weiss to end the frame. Rockies lead 6-5.

The Mets came right back in the top of the seventh to knot things up with a Bobby Bonilla double off of relief pitcher Mike Munoz that scored Brett Butler.Thankfully, fans were able to breath for three frames following the seventh inning stretch. The game would enter ninth inning tied up at six a piece.

The ninth inning was not as relaxing. Bruce Ruffin came in the game for the Rockies and walked the first hitter he faced (Brett Butler). Jose Vizacaino and Tim Bogar moved Butler up to third with a bunt and a ground out – bringing clean-up hitter Bobby Bonilla to the dish. In the second pitch of the at bat, Bonilla shot a line-drive single the put the Mets ahead 7-6.

597-20tfrJohn Franco came into the game for the Mets to close this one out; Spoiler Alert: he wasn’t successful. Franco walked the second batter of the inning to conclude a tough six pitch at bat, and after striking out Girardi – Larry Walker tied the game with deep line drive double to right field. Franco blew the save and the Mets were heading for extras. Score: 7-7

The game was mostly uneventful until the bottom of the 13th, as the Rockies and the Mets only mustered up a hit between them until that point (a Todd Hundley double if you’re curious). However, in the top of the 13th – the Mets looked like they’d finally bring in end to this one: Brett Butler hit a one out line drive double to CF, and was brought in by the next batter, Jose Vizcaino, on a single to left. Vizcaino got greedy however, and was out on the play as he challenged Bichette’s arm trying to stretch his hit into a double. Mets Lead: 8-7.59851-3443022fr

Unfortunately for the Mets, the Rockies’ bats also awoke in the thirteenth inning. Mike Remlinger gave up a single to Mike Kingery, and Jim Tatum produced in a pinch hit spot with line drive double to left. Tie game: 8-8

After the Mets took the lead back in the top of the fourteenth on Ricky Otero single and Jim Orsulak double, when finally reach a conclusion in the bottom of the inning. I could type it out for you – but I think Dante Bichette tells the story better:

Hope you enjoyed this flashback to a historic moment in baseball history… Now let’s talk beer!

Beer From the Bad Guys

Ophelia Hoppy Wheat Ale – Breckenridge Brewery

There’s a definitely tendency in American brewing to make everything hoppy. Know your target market, I guess, right? In any case, I have encountered more issues with this practice than times when the beer benefited. I’m happy to report the Breckenridge Brewery got it right on this one.

Ophelia is a Spring seasonal, and definitely has the right flavors on the palette. The floral crispness certainly does evoke the season. The body is sufficiently light as well.

The hop addition was a wise choice in both quantity and quality (Mosaic), as the bitter zing is quite evident, but not overpowering of the style. My barometer is always Lagunitas’ Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’, which hilariously purports to be a Pale Wheat Ale (it’s a huge IPA, through and through). Ophelia maintains the smooth malty sweetness of a Wheat Ale and layers the hops on top of those characteristics nicely.

ophScouting Report (20-80 scale)

See: 60

Smell: 65

Taste: 65

Feel: 65

Overall: 65

I’m glad I was able to catch this before the Spring beer season came to a close, as it’s a tasty, dependable beer of which you could easily have a six pack in your fridge that most people should enjoy. LGM!

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