9-3 wasn't nearly enough. Not when it's the Rockies playing in our own personal dungeon. Thinking that my memory was just possibly faulty in grumbling that we had a 3-54 record all-time at Coors Field, I hopped on over to Retrosheet to figure out our real record. Which, by my calculations (meet my version of sabermetrics, a.k.a. “addition”) is now 23-27, with '93 and '94 being played at Mile High. (Where my ace math skills suggest we were 4-8.) My calculations unfortunately including the error-inducing variable of myself, I flipped over to the Mets' press notes for tonight's game to double-check. The notes announced blandly that the Rockies lead the all-time series in Colorado by (drumroll) 93-31.
Something tells me that's not right either — but emotionally it feels about right, doesn't it?
Why do I hate this park so much? Part of it is that it makes a mockery of the game, where fastballs can't be gripped properly, breaking stuff doesn't break, and balls have to be stored under conditions that remind you of one of those expensive, pointless experiments conducted on the space shuttle. Part of it is the stupid Mountain Time starts, which are late enough to annoy and confound and make you feel guilty for going to bed, but not late enough so you either psych yourself up for a week of baseball games that end at 1:30 a.m. or decide screw it, your fan credentials won't be stripped for missing one. Part of it is the all-too-obvious gap between how a visiting team needs to approach Arena Baseball and how we seem to approach it: getting less selective at the plate and positioning our outfielders too deep. (As Victor Zambrano became the 10,000th pitcher to discover in his one, um, rocky inning, it's not homers and doubles that imperil you here so much as the deadly tick-tock of singles landing in no-man's land.) And then there's the weirdness that always seems to accompany a trip to Colorado: It figures this would be the park where Danny Graves (“has not allowed a run in four of his last six appearances,” the press notes offered with that Ac-centuate the Positive air of an aunt cajoling you into a doomed blind date) doesn't give up a run.
So however you quantify all this bad karma, good for Victor's run support and a bunch of nifty strikeout pitches, good for Eric Byrnes somehow not spearing Wright's liner, good for Marlon Anderson and good for Ramon Castro too, good for Willie for giving a shell-shocked Mike Cameron a much-needed day off. And good riddance to Coors Field. Which is good.
And while we're ac-centuating the positives in this
glass-half-empty glass-half-full glass-half… who-the-hell-knows semi-pennant race, we might have missed the opportunity to make up ground in the last two days, but the division waited around for us anyway. Forget the Braves — those unis march away from us no matter what collection of Richmonds and retreads put 'em on. Talking wild card, we just leapt over the Phillies again, we're tied with the Cubs, the Nationals are three games ahead but hurtling earthward, and between us and the Nats stand the Astros. Who now await us. Coors Field can make you feel like you've lost 93 games instead of 27 or two in a row, but we've survived and we're headed for Houston. Which has more than a whiff of Arena Baseball about it too (damn that stupid train), but at least it also has air.
In fact, by all indications Pedro is already there. Which means one less game he had to spend in the cursed environs of Coors Field. That's gotta be a good thing, right?