There is simply no place in the world that can produce mind-bending baseball games quite like Coors Field.
Friday night against the upstart Arizona Diamondbacks was easily the wildest game of the season.
The back-and-forth contest during the second game of the June 1 doubleheader against the Miami Marlins that ended with a walk-off home run by Brendan Rodgers, his third of the game, deserves a mention. But it falls short.
Bud Black couldn’t quite recall a game during his 40-plus years in professional baseball like the 13-10 victory his squad produced to open the series with Arizona.
“There are more so here than other places. There’s no doubt about that,” he said of wild games at Coors Field. “It could happen potentially 81 times where something like that could happen.”
Daniel Bard was credited with the win following a scoreless top of the ninth.
He remembered an insane comeback from his rookie year with the Boston Red Sox when they gave up a 10-1 lead at Orioles Park at Camden Yards.
“That isn’t a place like this where it’s somewhat normal – I mean nine runs is not normal here – but you do see some crazy things here,” Bard said of the difference between Coors Field and everywhere else.
It presented itself as a fine evening for the Colorado Rockies as Germán Márquez stepped out for the fifth inning with an 8-1 lead despite some light rain falling upon the playing field.
Márquez was hoping to go seven innings and give up two runs or less as he had during his previous two starts.
In just a few minutes, it was 8-6 with no outs and D-Backs occupying every base. Black was forced to go to his bullpen.
On the first pitch delivered by reliever Austin Gomber, Daulton Varsho lifted a grand slam in the damp Denver night to flip the lead in Arizona’s favor, 10-8.
Since the start of the Expansion Era over 60 years ago, it’s only the sixth time nine batters walked to the plate before an out was recorded and first time since 2015.
For those of the 34,848 in attendance – plus a few hundred dogs who came to Bark at the Park Night – they would be rewarded for sticking around through the cool temperature and non-stop drizzle.
At various points in the evening, a few Rockies put together some memorable performances.
Ryan McMahon had a two-homer game, the eighth of his career, en route to five long balls by Colorado, a season-high.
C.J. Cron blasted a two-run home run estimated to have traveled a whopping 504 feet. Not only was it the longest in MLB this season, but it ranks as the farthest homer for a Rockie in the StatCast era (since 2015). It also ties Giancarlo Stanton’s 504 foot shot in 2016 as the longest in Coors Field history.
Even after being demoralized by Arizona’s big inning and loss of the lead, Colorado did not throw in the towel despite being rather wet from the incessant misting.
Yonathan Daza added an RBI-double in the sixth before Elias Díaz did the same in the eighth to make it 10-10.
Díaz, however, was not finished.
Stepping to the plate in the ninth with two runners aboard and two outs, Díaz lifted a three-run dinger to left-center to give the Rockies an improbable 13-10 victory.
It was a career-high four hits for him. Díaz also had the first multi-homer game of his career and the most RBI (7) in a game over his eight years as a big leaguer. Those seven ribbies are most by a Rockies’ catcher in the team’s 30 seasons.
It also means Colorado homered to lead off the game (McMahon) and to end the game (Díaz), only the second time in franchise history.
Maybe most improbable: the game lasted 3:05 or the MLB average for this season.
More than 200,000 games have been played in Major League history and no two are the same.
At Coors Field, that fact couldn’t be any more true.