When you think of the Colorado Rockies, thoughts of Coors Field are often intermingled alongside names like Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado. Both are contending for the National League Most Valuable Player title this season and both will undoubtedly have to overcome some sort of national bias about Coors Field being a hitter’s paradise.
If Coors is a plus for hitters, then it should be a negative for pitchers, correct? Detroit manager Brad Ausmus made no bones about his disdain for Coors Field when his Tigers came to town in August, calling baseball in Colorado “pinball baseball.” We’ve heard Coors Field called everything from “playing on the moon” to “not real baseball.” The Rockies have heard these same things as well.
It’s been said often that free agent pitchers don’t want to pitch at Coors Field, yet the Rockies landed two pitchers in the offseason who experseed their excitement about pitching in Denver. Neither Greg Holland nor Mike Dunn backed down from the Coors Field challenge when they signed contracts with the Rockies in the offseason.
And what about trade deadline acquisition Pat Neshek? He suddenly found himself not only pitching at Coors Field but also expected to be a key contributor to Colorado making its first postseason experience since 2009.
Prior to Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins in Denver, in exclusive interviews, I asked each of the three pitchers above who are in their first season in Denver about their initial experiences at Coors Field. I asked them about the national perception of Coors Field and if altitude really had an effect on their pitching.
Note: All stats are prior to Tuesday’s game.