We are underway! Opening Day is always a special time in baseball, not quite as good as when it is at home, but still special nonetheless. The wonderful atmosphere that surrounds the first “real” game of the season will still be there on Friday when the Rockies host the Padres at Coors Field.
One game certainly does not make a season, but win or lose, it is nice to speculate on observations from the initial action of the season. The Rockies offense lived up to its advance billing with home runs from Tulo, Cargo, and Dex. The only complaint was the missed opportunity to expand the lead in the 4th inning when a missed sacrifice bunt and a baserunning mistake short-circuited a potential rally. The defense also looked sharp with several nice plays turned in, especially a running catch and a throw out at second base in consecutive at-bats by Carlos Gonzalez. The bullpen faltered, but it will still be one of the team’s strengths over the course of the season. Wilton Lopez certainly ran into some tough luck in Milwaukee’s three-run rally in the 8th inning, but of course, that’s what baseball can be like in certain games.
The biggest positives were two. Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, and Michael Cuddyer all looked 100% healthy and made contributions throughout the game. The most encouraging aspect of the game—even in a loss—was the strong start from Jhoulys Chacin. Chacin went 6 2/3 innings of three hit baseball, allowing just one run on a homer. What I liked was his consistent work down in the strike zone and his competitive nature. Jhoulys may not always show it in his body language, but he is an intense competitor. The television shot of a frustrated-at-himself Chacin in the dugout after a 2-out walk in the 7th inning led to his removal was a terrific display of how much he wants to be “the man” in the Rockies rotation. Now let’s hope Jorge De La Rosa can do the same in Game 2 against the Brewers.
Today’s CHECK IT OUT has to be theme appropriate. Bernie Williams was a terrific player for many seasons with the New York Yankees, but many of you may not know that he is a wonderful guitarist. Classically trained, Bernie has released several discs that feature his musical talents. You have to check out his version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”