Colorado Rockies news and links for Sunday, April 4, 2021
Easter is a time of renewal, hope, chocolate, and multi-colored eggs. For baseball fans, Easter coincides with the early goings of a new season in which teams are full of potential and aspirations for October.
In their 28-year history, the Rockies have played on Easter 16 times to a record of 6-10. The games have ranged from classic ‘90s slugfests to nail-biting pitchers duels. So, with the Rockies playing the Dodgers on Easter this year, it felt right to take a brief look into the franchise’s history on the holiday.
Easter has seen numerous Rockies lineups through the years and in 16 games on the holiday, the Rockies have compiled a batting line of .261/.323/.424. Through the first 14 games of the shortened 2020 season, they hit a similar .268/.335/.442. So in comparison, the Easter Rockies have seen offensive numbers that could rival the hot 11-3 start from just a year ago.
It’s also notable that on Easter the Rockies have averaged 4.7 runs per game for a grand total of 75 runs scored. One would expect them to utilize the long ball to score that many runs, but the fact of the matter is that they have only hit 18 home runs, with 11 of them coming as solo homers.
Strikeouts plague the offense. The Rockies have struck out 130 times while drawing only 47 walks on Easter Sunday. There has only been one instance in which the Rockies walked more than they struck out which happened in 2003.
Hard-boiled pitching results
Rockies pitching sports an ERA of 5.20 on the holiday. In 2020, the Rockies had an ERA of 2.65 in the first two weeks of the shortened season but then fell to a 5.50 ERA for the rest of the season. Despite the efforts of an offense to keep games close, the pitching could not hold up against their opponents.
Rockies pitching has given up a staggering 88 runs on Easter, with the biggest struggle coming in their inaugural 1993 season, losing 19-9 to the Montreal Expos. However, 11 games played by the Rockies have been decided by three runs or less. The notable culprits for the Rockies’ shortcomings come in the form of slugging percentage and walks.
Pitchers have issued 53 walks in 16 games while opposing teams are slugging .453 against them. The combination of extra-base hits with runners on base has spelled doom for the majority of Rockies losses.
Between the lines of these stats come several notable Easter memories that fans should not fail to remember.
Los Rockies vs Los Padres
Opening Day and Easter fell on the same day for the Rockies in 1999. Poised to face the San Diego Padres, Major League Baseball scheduled the two teams to face each other down in Mexico in an effort to expand the baseball market south of the border.
The Rockies ended up winning 8-2 thanks to the combined efforts of Dante Bichette and Mexico native Vinny Castilla. The Rockies legends combined for eight hits, with Bichette hitting a home run and driving in four. Rockies starter Darryl Kile notched the victory by going 6 ⅔ innings and allowing two runs on five hits.
April showers bring May flowers
On a rainy day in St. Louis in 2000, the Rockies took on the Cardinals in what became a mere seven-inning game. With the Rockies trailing 6-3 in the seventh, officials made the decision to call the game due to weather prior to the Cardinals coming to the plate. Rockies reliever Stan Belinda was set to pitch the inning, but instead officially went into the box score with zeroes across his stat line for the game.
Hollandsworth’s holiday bash
Easter 2001 was one to remember for Rockies outfielder Todd Hollandsworth in a 10-7 victory over the Diamondbacks. Hollandsworth mashed three home runs in the game for all seven RBI he accumulated on the day. Oh, and did I mention that all three home runs came after the sixth inning?
Trailing 5-2 in the sixth, Hollandsworth hit a two-run home run off of Curt Schilling to close the gap. He would again stroke another two-run home run in the eighth off of Greg Swindell, and finally ended the game with a three-run walk-off home run in the 10th inning off of Matt Mantei.
Chacón shuts down the Padres
Shawn Chacón had a fantastic afternoon at Coors Field in 2003 as he stifled the Padres lineup, beating them 8-0 on the way to his third win of the season. Chacón went seven innings while scattering four hits and striking out six batters. The Rockies’ offense bombarded Padres starter Jake Peavy for six runs, powered by home runs from Charles Johnson, Chris Stynes, and Jay Payton.
Cook-ing up a storm
Aaron Cook has the unique honor of starting three straight Easter games for the Rockies. In those starts Cook pitched 23 innings, compiling an 0-1 record with a 1.96 ERA. In 2007, Cook pitched nine innings, allowing just one run, in a 2-1 no-decision against Peavy and the Padres. The previous year, Cook went eight innings in a 1-0 loss to the Phillies. Utilizing his trademark sinker, Cook was always a safe bet for the Rockies on Easter.
What does the Easter Bunny have in store for the 2021 Rockies? Austin Gomber aims to find out and continue the Rockies’ recent Easter success in 2017 and 2019 by taking on a strong Dodgers lineup at Coors Field in his Rockies debut.
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Thomas Harding details the journey that Jon Gray has through to work through the struggles he has had in his Rockies career. Gray has gone through a variety of medical, exercise, nutrition, and analytical approaches to ensure he stays healthy and has a successful 2021 season before he potentially hits the free-agent market following the season.
Rockies fans received encouraging news concerning Kyle Freeland. After suffering a shoulder strain in Spring Training, Freeland continues to rehab in Arizona as he aims to return to a rotation that needs him. “Kyle is doing some strengthening exercises in Arizona,” manager Bud Black said. “He’s feeling better each and every day. No timetable yet. But I know that the work he’s doing and the intensity of that work is increasing every day.”
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Hello! My name is Skyler Timmins and I am among the newest members of Purple Row. I was born and raised in a small rural town in southern Colorado called Alamosa. While others went hunting and riding dirt bikes, I was obsessing about baseball, spending my days hitting and throwing rocks in our “Field of Dreams” which was just a dirt field by the house. I’m excited about the opportunity to write about the Rockies as baseball is my biggest passion. When I’m not occupied with baseball, I enjoy playing video games, quoting The Simpsons, and cracking jokes in the Twitterverse. I hope I can bring some fun and unique insight to the community and that you all enjoy my work!
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