In a 14-4 drubbing of the Diamondbacks in 2004, the performance of one Rockies player may have gone overlooked in a box score filled with crooked numbers.
The onslaught on Arizona starter Elmer Dessens lasted for four innings and nine runs, culminating with two innings and four runs against knuckleball reliever Steve Spark.
Five players recorded two or more hits on this day, including Vinny Castilla and Todd Helton.
But the player of the game was undoubtedly Aaron Miles: three-for-five, two home runs (one of which was a leadoff shot) and six runs batted in.
A serviceable infielder for nine season in the majors who also won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006, Miles won’t have easily forgotten the day he hit 11% of his career home runs (two of 19).
What the box score doesn’t elaborate upon is the fact that the 28-year-old second baseman hit each of his two long balls from different sides of the plate, becoming the first Rockie to do so in franchise history. Only Dexter Fowler in 2011 has ever matched such a performance.
Miles actually hit three balls over the fence at Coors Field that night: the third was a ground-rule double that bounced over the fence in right-center.
The First Goose Egg
After an inaugural season comprised of three-run homers and altitude-induced earned run averages, David Nied and two others combined on Colorado’s first shutout. The two-hitter against the reigning National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies was not without intrigue as Nied walked six, including loading the bases with three free passes in the first.
Touch ‘Em One Last Time
None of the 29,856 fans at Coors Field knew it at the time, but this day marked the final walk-off homer in the career of Todd Helton back in 2012. Down by a run with two outs, Helton lofted one into the night off DBacks closer J.J. Putz to seal an 8-7.
Greatest of All-Time?
There’s always good-natured debate among Rockies fans about the best pitching performance in club history. The no-hitter by Ubaldo Jiménez is always the starting point. Jon Gray’s shutout and 16 strikeout performance to close out the final month of his first season is also in the discussion.
A year ago today, German Márquez threw his proverbial purple hat into the conversation with a slump buster to snap an eight-game skid that could have nearly been the Rockies’ second no-hitter.
Márquez dazzled in the San Francisco sun, not allowing a base runner until the sixth when he plunked Kevin Pillar. It wasn’t until one-out in the eighth that the Giants finally notched their first hit, a single by Evan Longoria just past the outstretched glove of Nolan Arenado.
In 2015, Scott Oberg made his Major League Debut and subsequently got the win as he relieved starter Christian Bergman after four innings and 85 pitches.
On This Day In Baseball History
Twenty years today, Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles singles to centerfield and becomes just the 24th player to reach the 3,000 hit milestone. It also makes the ‘Iron Bird’ only the seventh player to get 3,000-400 club (hits and home runs).