Two years ago today, the Colorado Rockies defeated the Chicago Cubs in the National League Wild Card game at Wrigley Field. My, how things have changed for the Rockies since that chilly night.
As long as I live, one of the highlights for me as a reporter will be sitting in the press box at Wrigley Field that night and not only watching the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs battle for 13 innings, but also just feeling the tension inside the Friendly Confines rise as each out was recorded.
For Rockies fans, two years ago today may seem like a lifetime ago. It could easily be argued that that night in the Windy City was the pinnacle for the franchise during that entire decade.
After a late flight to Chicago following Game 163 in Los Angeles, Colorado put the disappointment of losing the NL West crown to the Dodgers behind it on a night that certainly felt like October in Wrigley Field.
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There were plenty of heroes for the Rockies that night. Kyle Freeland‘s 6.2 innings of four-hit, no-run pitching. Wade Davis with three strikeouts in 1.1 innings, and Scott Oberg going better than that with four Ks in 1.1 frames to earn the win.
Trevor Story going 3-for-6 at the plate, including a two-out single in the 13th that would be followed by a Gerardo Parra single that moved him to third and the now-famous Tony Wolters single that sent the Mountain time zone into a frenzy.
Just listen to the announcer below and flash back to the emotion you felt that night at that very moment that the Rockies took the lead in the 13th inning.
Let’s be honest, have we felt that way about this franchise or a moment on the field since that night? Oh sure, there have been great walk-off memories and defensive highlights along the way, but we also know the Milwaukee Brewers swept the Rockies in the NLDS following this moment in Chicago and Colorado hasn’t sniffed the postseason since then … or come close to finishing the season with a winning record.
Look where we are at this very moment. We are now asking exactly how long Nolan Arenado and Story will be a part of the franchise. We’re wondering exactly how Arenado and GM Jeff Bridich reached the point where they were before the 2020 season (and presumably still are). We’re asking if Scott Oberg and David Dahl can return healthy. We’re wondering when the Rockies will return to relevancy and challenge for the division crown again.
As I sit here preparing to watch the Cubs play an elimination game today against the Miami Marlins, I’m flashing back to two years ago and thinking how much the world (and the franchise) has changed. I have to admit, I’m a bit melancholy while those thoughts run through my head.
But I’m also not just looking back, but looking ahead as well. I’m anxious to hear from Colorado leadership (hopefully soon) and what their plans are for the offseason. I’m interested to see what the spin will be on the failed contracts of Daniel Murphy and the combined super bullpen. I’m very curious to understand what lies ahead for Brendan Rodgers, Sam Hilliard, Ryan McMahon, and the next wave of potential Rockies impact-makers.
More than anything, I’m ready to feel those emotions from Chicago in October of 2018. It’s just a question of when this franchise will be in that position again knowing all of the immediate needs and questions that must be addressed.