Fridays Above Replacement

Two Days in Denver

To begin, I’d like to apologize to everyone who clicked on this link expecting some sort of in-depth statistical analysis.  Unfortunately, you won’t find such an analysis this week. With the holiday weekend and some sickness in the family, I didn’t have time to research anything interesting.  Instead, I’d like to tell you about my experiences at Monday and Tuesday’s games!

MONDAY, 30 MAY – CIN 11, COL 8

Several months ago, my step-father-in-law suggested my wife and I take little Jeter to his first baseball game this year at Coors Field.  I said “That’s a fantastic idea! When do the Reds come into town?”  Memorial Day was the perfect day for such a momentous event as a boy’s first Reds game.  I purchased tickets and my folks, my wife’s folks, and little Jeter were on our ways!

As soon as we walked into the stadium, the crack of the bat could be heard above the din of the concourse.  Cozart had homered on the game’s first pitch.  One for the good guys!  As the rest of the party made their way to our seats, I stood to watch Votto’s first at-bat. Can’t miss what I paid for!  That at-bat was nothing special, however.

We had field-level seats between 3rd and the foul pole – one of my favorite angles to watch a game – about 33 rows up where the mezzanine level could provide shelter from the elements.  I’m glad I picked these seats because we had both rain and sun during the game.  Weather so close to the mountains can change in a hurry.

seat

View from our seats

Play of the game, of course, was Votto’s bases loaded double.  The wind during that inning was stiff, to put it conservatively.  The flags atop the stadium were standing at attention, with the wind blowing straight into home plate.  Votto drove the ball into the teeth of the gale, causing the strange flight seen mostly on golf balls.  The ball seemed to continue to rise, even as it was being slowed down by the wind.  Without wind, that ball is an easy 440 feet.  Votto had to settle for a 2-run double as the ball bounced over the center field fence.

The game was an absolute blast!  The Reds won, Adam Duvall homered twice, Votto homered, every Reds starter had a hit except for Dan Straily (who drew a walk), and little Jeter slept most of the time!

fam

The fam!

Little Jeter’s Grandpa Mark picked up a game-used ball for him, as well.  It was a ball in the dirt thrown by Chad Bettis in the first inning to Mr. Joey Votto.  My son owns a ball that Joey Votto took.  Awesome.

ball

A nice first addition to a collection…

All in all, I believe this was a successful trip to Denver!

TUESDAY, MAY 31 – COL 17, CIN 4

I left this game between the bottom of the 8th and the top of the 9th.  This means I suffered through all 17 of those Rocky Mountain runs!

I was flying solo for this game.  I left early and got to the field at 4:40PM, right as gates were opening up for visitor’s batting practice.  In all my years as a fan, this is the first time I’ve ever been to batting practice.  It was definitely fun!  I expected a ton of homers, given that I was standing in Coors Field, but Duvall and Brandon Phillips were the only two players to go deep. Votto didn’t take batting practice, which was a bummer.

BP1

Reds Batting Practice at Coors Field

I was disappointed Phillips didn’t play in this game because he looked fantastic in batting practice.  He was spraying line drives all over the field and then homered to center field, about 10 rows up in the stands, on the penultimate pitch he saw.  On the final pitch he saw, he homered to left, about 15 rows up.  BP definitely still has some raw power, Coors Field or not.

BP2

About where BP’s BP homer landed…

The game itself, for those of you who watched, started out badly.  Jon Moscot gave up a homer, a double, and another homer in the first 6 pitches of the game.  He ended up be touched for 7 ER in 2 innings pitched.  Moscot, thankfully was OK, after being grazed in the face by a Jon Gray fastball in the top of the 3rd inning.  From my seat in the 9th row near 3rd base, it looked bad.  I was standing up for about 10 seconds while Moscot was on the ground, just long enough for someone behind me to ask me to sit down.

On my way out, I met loyal Redleg Nation reader Dwayne (or could be Duane) on the concourse near the left field foul pole.   We talked for about 20 minutes about a variety of topics; what’s wrong with Votto, what should the Reds do with their minor leaguers, and should we trust Dick Williams, among other things.  During our talk, the score went from 11-3 to 17-4.  I was so mentally checked out from the first six Rockies homes that I didn’t even notice Charlie Blackmon’s homer was a grand slam until I completed my 90-minute drive home.

During our talk, we ended up on Votto’s poor batted ball luck.  During his at-bat, while we were discussing it, Votto hit a screaming 106mph line drive… right at the right fielder.

My new friend said he doesn’t generally post here on RLN, but hopefully he will now!

Oh, one last thing!  I collect baseball cards and was fortunate enough to get Mr. John Lamb to give me his John Hancock before the game. He was an extremely nice guy.  Made eye contact, asked how I was, and told me to “Have a good one.”  You too, John. You, too.  I was happy to see him have some success in the 3rd game of the series.

lamb

Ok, I suppose that’s enough.  I hope this wasn’t too boring!  We’ll get back into charts and numbers next week!

 

11 thoughts on “Two Days in Denver

  1. Great stuff Patrick. As much as we live and die by the box scores and the recaps and the rehash on RLN, it’s still all about what happens at the ballpark. Sorry you had to suffer through game 2 out there but this was a very good series for the Reds. Thanks for sharing your first hand account.

  2. Great post! Baby’s first game is a milestone, isn’t it? As much for mom and dad as for the baby. If you contact the Reds, I wouldn’t be surprised if they would give you a first game certificate even though the game was out of town. They’re good that way.

    FWIW, I love these posts about out of town reds games from people who were there. I’m curious, what are some of the special foods they have at Coors Field? It’s always good to get information about good seats in out of town parks. How’s the traffic? Is that good public transportation?

    • I’ve never heard of the first game certificate, I’ll have to contact them and find out! Thanks!

      The only really “special” food at Coors is Rocky Mountain Oysters. If you aren’t familiar, I suggest you look it up! 😉

      They have a lot of good food, though. Classic stuff, like burgers and dogs, that are made with really fresh, locally sourced meats. Also they have a lot of micro-brews from Colorado that give a lot of beer options.

      The traffic can be very bad depending on if they are doing construction on I-25, which they are quite often. I usually go a back way from Colorado Springs up a state highway and avoid the interstate. Parking is good, and public transportation (Denver Light Rail) is very good, I’d say.

  3. “Votto drove the ball into the teeth of the gale, causing the strange flight seen mostly on golf balls.” LOVE THIS SENTENCE! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼. Also, isn’t it nice when ball players look you in the eye and ask about you? Duvall did that to me at the Reds Caravan and then next in line I had to wait for Winker to finish his convo with Williams to sign my ball and then he didn’t even look at me. Makes a difference and guess which one I’m more invested in now?

    • Thanks, Noel. I agree. Sometimes watching only on TV we forget these are real people, too, just like us.

  4. Thanks for posting this; brings up lots of comments

    1) Love batting practice and I always try to attend if I can talk my wife into it. Most memorable was Wade Boggs who each turn was working a different skill. Bunt left, Bunt right, next turn line drive left, line drive center, line drive right. third turn was HR left, HR center, HR right. apparently he knew how to hit.

    2) Loved the look of Lamb in the camo uniform. With his blonde hair and ink sleeves, he looks like he is fully camouflaged on the mound. Way to work the advantage…

    3) I commented a few weeks ago that I was concerned about Joey’s practice swings in that he was working on this huge upper cut which I have never seen him do. That has gone away this series and he is starting to rake again. Glad he reads this blog for hitting advise. No thanks necessary Joey.

    4) I know the Reds chef won an episode of Chopped, but we really enjoy the restaurant in the corner on the right field line at Coors. When we are there for a series, one of them is spent there for the first few innings. Great place to eat and watch a game

    Denver is a very cool place to get to watch a game. I have stayed in the same hotel as the Reds in the past riding the elevator with the players. But my favorite was seeing Chris Welsh on the streets and saying hi to him. He was walking the other direction, but stopped to talk with me for a few minutes. Very nice guy, just like we see on TV

  5. Impressive that you got the littlest Jeter to his first game so early! I didn’t get my daughter to her first one until she was 4! I hope he becomes a fan. My daughter is 9 and greatly prefers hockey to baseball.

    Thanks for writing this. The game of baseball, enjoyed at the ballpark, is still one of the most wonderful experiences in the world.

  6. I really enjoyed this. It almost felt like I was there, enjoying the sights and sounds of batting practice and the games. I miss it.

    I’ve never heard of a first game certificate. That’s something I’ll have to check into when I eventually get Mrs. Eric The Red to a game at GABP. Thanks Seat101!

    • Anyone attending an away game is welcome to submit a “Behind Enemy Lines” article and we’ll post it up for them!

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