Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Déjà Vu All Over Again

Last year on August 2nd, my sister and I attended the Rockies/Brewers game, the last one we would be able to make it to for the 2006 season, and enjoyed a very special time that evening -- it was the last night of summer for us, and we generally had a religious experience with how much we'd gotten to know and love the Rockies. It was lots of fun, was bittersweet because I was leaving for my freshman year of college in a few weeks, and made us very eager to get back to Coors this year. (If you are interested in further reading about this subject, please consult this entry, which details how I fell for the Rockies as well as offers a recap of the August 2nd game).

It was a great way to cap off the season and a fitting way to bid adieu to our new boys for 2006. Therefore, when the 2007 schedule came out and we saw that they were playing the Brewers on August 7, we immediately made plans to go, hoping to repeat. Unfortunately, my sister was doing the Aerial Dance Festival in Boulder, the same commitment that made August 2 the last game for us last year, but there was no way that I could be kept from it tonight -- as it was, several of my friends from Purple Row agreed that the date worked for an "Internet People Get-Together Redux," and I met three of them (four counting a Cubs-fan friend who was along to root against the Brewers). We had a fine time at the park, sitting in Section 206 just like last time, and it rained during batting practice, just like last time. Since the Rockies also won the August 2, 2006 contest they played, I was hoping that the deja vu would extend that far.

Chris Capuano was starting for the Brewers, and I, for the record, have saved him from ninjas. (Well... not exactly. See, the thing is, during my freshman writing seminar, we were asked to write about our best experience of the summer, so I wrote about the August 2nd game. Then we had to give it to one of our classmates, who would try to introduce a thread of conflict into it. The classmate that received my piece knew nothing about baseball, so she had to resort to having a pack of ninjas attack Coors Field. In the course of this little adventure, I saved both my sister and Capuano from them before the marauding pirates showed up. Ask me later... man, I should see if I still have that). So, I was hoping he'd repay me for his life by giving up runs to the Rockies, but unfortunately, until the bottom of the sixth, he was not getting with the program and had been shutting them out on three hits. Since the Brewers were 21-33 on the road coming into the game, and had lost 12 of their past 15 away from Miller Park, this did not seem like such a tall order to ask for, but the Rockies have a puzzling habit of pummeling good pitchers and making bad pitchers look like Cy Young.

Fortunately, they got with the program in the bottom of the sixth, starting with Tulo's leadoff homer, continuing with Atkins' RBI single, Spilborghs' double, and Sullivan's infield hit; Jamey Carroll added the last tally of the inning with a fielder's choice. In the bottom of the seventh, Helton hit his first homer of the game to push the advantage to 6-3, the bullpen had a couple of nice tidy innings, and then the offense went to work again ruthlessly in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by Helton's second homer, a three-run, 430-foot shot just beneath us. (Side note: There was an incredibly annoying Brewers-fan kid behind us, saying stupid things all game, and when Helton was up with two out and two on, Holliday having missed a three-run jack by the skin of his teeth, the kid said, "It's the third out, it's Todd Helton." Well, sure, Helton's lost his power stroke a bit, but it made me mad; you do not insult my boys in front of me. I guess Todd thought so as well, because seconds later he launched it and shut the miniature dipshit up in a hurry. He was still possessed of the opinion that the Brewers were going to make a comeback, down 11-3 in the ninth, which they did not. Also, of course Helton had to hit a homer -- he hit one during the 8-1 win last year. I told you it was deja vu). And by the way, since when have the Brewers had so many fans (there seemed to be a disproportionate amount of them here tonight, or maybe they were just loud?) They were a losing and footnoted club for the past 15 years, one good season and there they are... but I guess I shouldn't be complaining so much. I seriously doubt the Rockies had this many fans for the last few years either. Good for the Brewers for finally pulling out of their decade-and-a-half tailspin, and if the Cards won't win the Central, I'll take the Crew to do so, although they can wait to return to their winning ways until they get out of Colorado. If the Cubs get into the playoffs, never mind win anything, I'll start being very seriously concerned about the end of the world. We dodged a bullet in 2003... can you imagine? The Cubs, Red Sox, and White Sox all in a row? We'd be melting in nuclear fallout right about now.

It's just fun to go to Rockies games this year. Unfortunately, that may be the third-to-last game I make it to (I'm going on August 10th and 24th, the latter being my birthday, but then I won't be back at Coors until May 2008.... a thought that makes me incredibly sad). The crowd gets into it, they cheer loudly, the electricity is great, and it's not just a bunch of bored people out at the ballpark to talk on their cell phones and eat hot dogs, if they bother to show up at all. This is a good young club finally getting some attention from the national media, Denver is supporting its Rockies again (which warms my little heart) and thirty-thousand-odd fans turning out for a Tuesday night game against the Brewers is very respectable indeed.

The Rockies go for the sweep tomorrow, and they've got the right man on the mound -- Jeff Francis, 12-5/4.01, who hasn't lost in a very long time and seems to be able to inspire his team to do likewise. They've won 15 of 22 starts made by young Jeffrey Franchise, and he looks to be turning into a bona fide ace. Even when he has his rocky outings, the offense seems able to pick him up, something they'll have to do again against Yovani Gallardo (4-1, 2.55) who shut them out for 4 1/3 innings the last time they saw him, in Milwaukee a few weeks ago. A series win is nice, but a sweep would be better. With their victory tonight coupled with the suddenly free-falling Dodgers losing to the Reds and the D-backs being dropped by the Pirates, the Rockies moved into third place, four off the pace in the West and three behind the Wild Card-leading Padres. Believe it or not, they're actually in a pennant race, and although they may not get there, it's been a blast to be along for the ride. Well, usually; Brian Fuentes' little, ahem, hiccup not qualifying. (I keep trying not to imagine what our record would look like.... I know I mentioned that, but seriously, he doesn't have to throw another pitch this season for my team as far as I'm concerned).

Go Rockies!

1 comment:

Daniel Charles said...

Great Blog... I believe we have found the replacement for Woody Paige when he goes out to pasture in a few years...