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The Most Exhilarating Opening Day Game in Rockies History

Just the other day, the Colorado Rockies experienced perhaps the most embarrassing Opening Day loss in their franchise history. Through their 31-year history, this team has had multiple ninth-inning comeback victories. For instance, back in 1995 against the New York Mets, the Rockies played through 15 innings. They scored three runs in the bottom of the 15th to win 11-9. While that walk-off Opening Day win was truly epic, the most exhilarating Opening Day win for Colorado was against their division rival San Diego Padres in 2005. It may not have gone 15 innings, but the Rockies capped off a legendary walk-off win in front of their hometown fans at Coors Field.

The Greatest Opening Day Game in Rockies History

Two Division Rivals Battle It Out On Opening Day

On April 4th, 2005, the San Diego Padres came to Coors Field for their Opening Day matchup with the Rockies. Colorado wasted no time trying to score off of Padres starter Woody Williams. Rockies shortstop Clint Barmes doubled on a line drive to center field, which allowed second baseman Aaron Miles to score. With Barmes and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Todd Helton on base, Rockies center fielder Preston Wilson blasted a three-run shot to center field. Colorado now held a 4-0 lead after one inning of play. San Diego made this game interesting during the top of the third inning. Padres right fielder Brian Giles crushed a two-run shot to right field. In the next at-bat, first baseman Phil Nevin also hit a homer to make it a 4-3 ballgame.

Colorado started to gain a seemingly comfortable lead within the next few innings. In the bottom of the third, Rockies third baseman Jeff Baker hit a two-run home run to right field. Then, in the bottom of the fifth, Colorado’s right fielder Dustan Mohr singled on a ground ball to left field, allowing Matt Holliday to score. The Rockies now held a 7-3 lead after five innings of play.

Padres Manufacture a Comeback

In the top of the sixth inning, San Diego made the game interesting once again. They went on to score five runs to take the lead. It all started when center fielder Xavier Nady ripped a three-run home run into right field. A few batters later, shortstop Khalil Greene doubled on a line drive to right field, which brought in a run. Two batters after that, Giles hit a sacrifice fly, bringing home Greene. San Diego now held an 8-7 lead, with still three innings left to play.

Even though Helton brought home the tying run for the Rockies on a single to center field in the bottom half of the sixth inning, the Padres came right back in the top of the seventh. San Diego hit back-to-back home runs for the second time in the ball game. First, catcher Ramón Hernández hit a solo shot into center field. Then, Nady hit his second home run of the day, a solo shot to left field. The Padres now held a 10-8 lead going into the bottom of the seventh.

Rockies Ninth Inning Comeback Victory

Perhaps all seemed lost for the Colorado Rockies on this 2005 Opening Day matchup, until the bottom of the ninth inning. The Rockies put on a four-run rally to take home a 12-10 win in front of their home crowd, easily making this one of the most exhilarating, and electrifying Opening Day games in Rockies history. It all started when pinch hitter Cory Sullivan doubled on a fly ball to left field, allowing one run to score. Next, Sullivan would score and tie the game at 10 off of a ground ball single to center field by Miles. Finally, Barmes smoked a two-run walk-off home run to left field to give the Rockies this masterful Opening Day win.

Rockies starter Joe Kennedy pitched five innings. He allowed six runs on seven hits, and four walks while striking out seven batters. Woody Williams pitched three and one-third innings for the Padres, allowing six runs off nine hits and a walk. San Diego’s Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman got the loss after he blew the save, allowing four runs on four hits. Ryan Speier picked up the Opening Day win for the Rockies.

How the 2005 Regular Season Played Out for Both Clubs

Even though this 2005 Opening Day matchup could be the best first regular season game performance in Rockies history, the team failed to make the postseason after finishing with a record of 67-95. Even though they took a tough loss in the first game of the season, the Padres won the NL West division in 2005, going 82-80. San Diego obtained the third seed in the National League postseason field. They would lose the first three games in a best-of-five series with the St. Louis Cardinals, and be eliminated from the playoffs.


Photo Credit: © Andrew Carpenean-USA TODAY Sports


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