The Rockies Retread series recaps significant games from the Rockies’ past. You can find previous installments in this series archived on my old website, Rockies Woman.
Early May of 1993 brought the San Francisco Giants to Denver for the first time. Back then, the Dusty-Baker-helmed Giants weren’t as known for their pitching as they are today, and most of the time their win probability rested on the shoulders of young Barry Bonds. When Bonds didn’t hit, though, the Giants tended not to win. And sometimes the slugger met a pitcher he couldn’t beat.
Okay, so a bad day for Barry Bonds usually still involved a double and a triple with a run scored, as this one did. But he didn’t hit a 9-run home run, so that’s a win for pitcher Armando Reynoso. You remember Reynoso. He was the only Rockies pitcher to record double-digit wins in that inaugural season, and the only member of the rotation to win more than 5 games. He also kept his ERA steady at 4.00, which is more than can be said for, well, anyone else. So you know that if there’s anyone we wanted taking on Barry Bonds in an MVP season, it was Reynoso.
And Reynoso did his thing, despite the aforementioned extra-base hits. He pitched around the lineup well enough that Bonds only managed hits when leading off an inning, so he didn’t get any RBI. He scored only once, on a Royce Clayton sacrifice fly after hitting that triple. And despite reaching 3rd with no outs in the 4th, Bonds was kept from scoring thanks to a double play ground ball that Reynoso both fielded and caught to make the out at 1st.
It wasn’t a perfect start for Reynoso (4 earned runs on 13 hits), but it was a good one. It was also a complete game in which he recorded 8 strikeouts. He induced two more double plays after that first one. He allowed just one home run, a solo shot by Matt Williams. And he even helped his own cause with a little hitting. Dante Bichette deserves most of the credit for the 7-4 win, with his 3-run home run in the 1st inning. Reynoso, however, hit a home run of his own, the first ever by a Rockies pitcher, and the first of his career. It might even have been a 2-run home run if Vinny Castilla hadn’t been caught trying to stretch a single into a double earlier in the inning. The outfield assist on that play goes to Barry Bonds. He’ll get you one way or another.