Colorado Rockies history: Darryl Kile throws a gem
Continuing on with our tournament of the top 32 moments in Rockies franchise history, today, we discuss the late Darryl Kile. He made his MLB debut with the Houston Astros in 1991 through 1997. During his tenure in Houston, on September 8, 1993, Kile through a no-hitter against the New York Mets.
After the 1997 season in which he came in fifth in the NL Cy Young Award voting, the two-time All-Star signed with the Rockies as a free-agent. In his first season in Colorado, as do most pitchers, Kile struggled to be effective in Coors Field as he went 5-9 with a 6.22 ERA with a .313 opponent batting average in Coors that season. However, he pitched much better than that in one game.
On September 10, 1998, Darryl Kile threw one of the best games in his career against the Florida Marlins. The Marlins were the reigning World Champions but owner Wayne Huizenga decided to sell all of the main pieces of his World Championship team including pitchers Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Robb Nen, and position players Charles Johnson, Bobby Bonilla, Jeff Conine, Darren Daulton (who recently passed away), Moises Alou, Jim Eisenreich, Gary Sheffield, Devon White, Mike Piazza, and Todd Zeile were all traded (or acquired and traded again for the last two) between the end of the 1997 World Series and the July 31 trade deadline in 1998. Entering the game, the Marlins were 98 losses into their 108 loss season.
- Todd Dunwoody, CF
- Edgar Renteria, SS
- Mark Kotsay, RF
- Cliff Floyd, LF
- Brian Daubach, 1B (who was making his major league debut)
- Kevin Orie, 3B
- Gregg Zaun, C
- Luis Castillo, 2B
- Rafael Medina, SP
- Darryl Hamilton, CF
- Neifi Perez, SS
- Dante Bichette, LF
- Vinny Castilla, 3B
- Todd Helton, 1B
- Jason Bates, 2B
- Edgard Clemente, RF (who was also making his major league debut)
- Kirt Manwaring, C
- Kile, SP
Darryl Kile had only given up one hit entering the ninth inning: a bunt single in the third inning by Luis Castillo. In the ninth inning, Kile gave up a lead-off triple to Dunwoody and Edgar Renteria got a RBI groundout to score him for the only run that the Marlins would get.
The Rockies, though, already had scored three runs with an RBI singles by Clemente and Perez and a solo home run by Bichette.
Kile’s final line score looked like this: nine innings pitched, two hits, one run, two walks, five strikeouts, 110 pitches.
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The Rockies ended the game with a 77-85 record in fourth place in the NL West. The Marlins finished with a 54-108 record for the worst record in the majors.
Kile never pitched that well again in Coors Field and after the 1999 season, in which he was worse than he was in 1998, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. As a Rockie, he went 21-30 with a 5.84 ERA. In his first season with the Cardinals, he went 20-9 with a 3.91 ERA. He was an All-Star, came in fifth in the Cy Young Award voting and 18th in MVP voting.
However, in 2002, during a road trip in Chicago, the Cardinals right-hander passed away from a heart attack in his hotel room. He was only 33 years old. He was the first active MLB player to pass away during the regular season since Yankees catcher Thurman Munson passed away in a plane crash in 1979 (Cleveland Indians relievers Tim Crews and Steve Olin passed away in a boating accident in 1993 but the incident took place during spring training).
Next: Another moment in our top 32 Rockies moments tournament
None of the teams that he played for have ever reissued his number uniform number 57 again.