I won’t lie. My expectations were to walk into Chase Field today and watch the first no-hitter of the season. Ubaldo Jimenez was on the mound and if you haven’t read my blog, I am high on this guy. Way high. So high in fact, it may have been unfair to think he would throw a no-hitter. Seven scoreless innings would have to do.
I should have known this day was going to be different from opening day. Standing inside Chase Field, I could see balls flying deep into the outfield during batting practice. There was no feeling of sadness from the loss the day before, and in fact it was pretty easy going- work like. I liked it and had that good feeling. The starting pitcher who hadn’t lasted more than 55 pitches was even happy, and I was pleased, as you have to let those losses go.
Watching the practice getting going, I stood idly by as a smiling Dexter Fowler warmed up with starting center fielder Ryan Spilborghs. Then it happened. Dexter might tell you Spilly didn’t reach high enough for the ball and Spilly may tell you the ball was overthrown. Either way, a ball thrown from Fowler went into the stands right next to me and tagged a D’back fan. Got em good. Hit him so hard the paramedic came over and asked the guy to wiggle his hand so he could evaluate him.
Dexter was nice though. He came over apologized to the fan and gave him a ball.
But don’t think I let an opportunity slip by with this “blessed” ball…It quickly found a use.
One man’s trash- aka ball injury- another man’s autograph ball. Thanks Cookie.
With the roof open and a beautiful 75 degrees, the stage was set for a good ball game.
Ubaldo would take the stage and face adversity early. The bases loaded in the second, Jimenez has the d’backs Lopez hit into a double play. Nicely done and no runs on the board.
Unlike opening day, starting pitchers for both clubs held up nicely. The Diamondbacks suffered their first hiccup in the fifth inning with a solo shot from Tulowitzki that would make the game 1-0 Rockies.
Again, in the sixth inning Ubaldo would face adversity. With runners at first and second with two outs, he managed to strike out catcher Miguel Montero. Tragedy avoided again.
Ian Stewart and Todd Helton would both drive in runs at separate times adding to the Rockies lead 3-0.
Manny Corpas would come in to set-up in the eigth and look like the closer he could easily be. Huston Street would come in to close down the ninth and the expectations I had for opening day came true on day two.
The Rockies got their first win of the season and I got a good feeling back deep down. This was the squad I knew was there and I hope tomorrow the same squad shows up to take the series on the way back to Denver.
Stay tuned to the blog because there is a LOT I did not touch on in my experience at Chase Field and Arizona in general. I’ve got some strong opinions on everything from the ball park food to the excitement of D’backs fans. I’ll break it down, the pros and cons from this fans perspective and what I took from this experience!
Tomorrow the game starts at 12:40 Arizona time and I’m hoping for another convincing win to come.
Photo credit- All Tom Walsh