It took a combined effort for the Rockies to beat the Mets at Coors Field Tuesday.
Carlos Gonzalez launched a home run into the ghostly second deck, Todd Helton knocked in a pair of runs in the fifth inning and then made a fantasitc catch leaning into the stands down the first base line. Yet, the most impressive performance in the Rockies 8-4 win in the first game of the double header came prior to the game when the grounds crew and hundreds of others Rockies employees helped clear the field of snow.
“It’s no joke,” said Helton about the tundra-like conditions. The temperature at the first pitch was 39-degrees with 100-percent humidity. “These are tough games to come back and win. We did a good job of not giving up in those conditions.”
The game that was postponed due to falling snow yesterday, and it was delayed due to snow removal today.
The Rockies had to borrow shovels from the Denver Broncos and Sports Authority Field at Mile High just down the road to get the job done. Even club owner Dick Monfort and director of baseball operations Bill Geivett took part in the tedious removal.
Minus the snow, Colorado was able to take the field but the Mets were able to take the lead early. New York thrid baseman David Wright knocked a pair of home runs, his first two of the season, out of the park to give the Mets a somewhat cozy lead.
The Rockies were frigid but resolute.
“I used to love these games when I was younger, not so much anymore,” Helton said. Michael Cuddyer took a walk with the bases loaded to score a run and give their first baseman just the opportunity he needed.
“He’s a great guy to have up in that situation,” said manager Walt Weiss. Younger players oftentimes get ancy at the plate in colder weather. “He’s one of the guys I would have picked to have up there.”
Helton waited for his pitch, or at least one that would be able to handle given the circumstances of his at-bat. His hands were cold, they didn’t feel right on his Louisville Slugger, pressure was on, and he delivered a clutch single back up the middle. Not a sharp line drive like he wanted, but just enough to get past the diving second baseman and into centerfield.
“I wasn’t trying to do too much with that, in that situation,” the veteran recalled, as the Rockies took the lead.