Rockies Opening Day: Arizona Topples Colorado, 7-6, In Extra Innings

The quest for the West begins now!

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Colorado Rockies Lose 2011 Seaon Opener Against Diamondbacks In Extra innings, 7-6

The 2011 season is officially underway for the Colorado Rockies. Unfortunately for the nearly 50,000 fans in attendance at Coors Field, the new season began with a loss for the Rockies. The Arizona Diamondbacks toppled Colorado 7-6 in extra innings thanks to a wild pitch by reliever Matt Lindstrom that allowed Geraldo Parra to race home from third for the go-ahead run in the top half of the 11th inning.

The Rockies got off to a quick start, scoring twice in the first and once more in the second to take a 3-1 lead through two innings. The Diamondbacks raced out to their first lead with with three runs in the fifth inning, and two more runs in the next frame. Colorado responded though in the bottom of the sixth with their first homerun of the new year, a solo shot by Jose Lopez to left field that trimmed the deficit to 6-4.

Things got a bit wacky after that. In the bottom of the seventh, the Rockies were seemingly done for when Ty Wigginton struck out on a pitch in the dirt. But catcher Miguel Montero short-hopped the throw to first base allowing Carlos Gonzalez to spring home all the way from second to keep the inning alive. Lopez then drove in his second run of the game when he beat out a slow-rolling grounder to third with two outs, and Todd Helton crossed home plate to tie the score at 6-6. Both teams bats went quiet until the 11th when Arizona took the lead for good.

Colorado was just 8-10 in extra inning games a year ago, and two games under .500 in one-run contests (28-30). If Tracey’s squad hopes to compete with the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants in what should be a highly competitive NL West, they’ll have to fare better in these types of tightly contested affairs. Prior to the start of the season, Rockies manager Jim Tracy mentioned that his team was ‘good’, but that they would have to improve in little areas in order to take the next big step forward and become ‘great’. If Opening Day was any indication, the Rockies still have work to do. Colorado left 12 men on base thanks in part to 11 strikeouts by the lineup.

As disappointing as the loss was, there were positives from the season opener as well. And even if there hadn’t been, one game doesn’t mean much in the long grind that is a 162 MLB season.

Box Score
MLB.com Recap
Postgame Fan Discussion and Analysis at Purple Row

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Colorado Rockies Opening Day Starts With The Arizona Diamondbacks

Today is better than your birthday. Today is better than being a kid on Christmas morning. Why? Because it's Opening Day for your Colorado Rockies! That's right, at 2:10 p.m. MT your 2011 Colorado Rockies will begin another quest to capture their first NL West crown.

For the first time since 2007, the Rockies will open up the season at home in Coors Field for a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2007, the Rockies dropped the Opening Day Game to the Diamondbacks, but took the next two. This time around, let's see a sweep, right?

But today will be a very different game than the one played four years ago. Several of the faces are the same, but this Rockies team enters the season with legitimate aspirations for the postseason. In 2007, the Rockies clicked at the end of the season and brought us Rocktober. Four years later this is a Rockies team that still features Todd Helton and Troy Tulowitzki, but also emerging, if not already, stars in Ubaldo Jimenez and Carlos Gonzalez.

Before the game there will be an Opening Day Fest that starts at 9 a.m. MT that will feature food, music and plenty more. There will also be pregame ceremonies for Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki to receive their 2010 Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.

And remember, you can catch the pregame show and the game on ROOT Sports, formerly known as FSN Rocky Mountain. You can expect plenty of Drew Goodman, George Frazier, Jeff Huson and Alanna Rizzo today and throughout the rest of the season.

But we're all interested in what will happen on the field once the guys take the field. Not to belabor the point on the Rockies, but they failed horribly at the end of last season, going into a deep funk the last two weeks of the season. The Diamondbacks never seemed to be able to get out of theirs, finishing the season at 65-97. Today, however, the Rockies have Ubaldo Jimenez on the mound, while the Diamondbacks put Ian Kennedy out there. This better not turn into a David v. Goliath matchup today.

Here are the projected Opening Day Lineups:

Diamondbacks Rockies
2B Kelly Johnson CF Dexter Fowler
3B Melvin Mora RF Seth Smith
RF Justin Upton LF Carlos Gonzalez
1B Russell Branyan SS Troy Tulowitzki
CF Chris Young 1B Todd Helton
C Miguel Montero 3B Ian Stewart
SS Willie Bloomquist 2B Jose Lopez
LF Gerardo Parra C Chris Iannetta
RHP Ian Kennedy RHP Ubaldo Jimenez


However, as Troy Renck notes, the Rockies' lineup could change if Jonathan Herrera starts at second base. That would likely move Smith to the seven-hole and Herrera up to No. 2 in the lineup.

See you at the ballpark!

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