April 26, 1995: Rockies Down Mets in Coors Field Opener
|Date: April 26, 1995|
|Mets starter: Bobby Jones|
|Winning pitcher: Mark Thompson|
|Key player(s): Rico Brogna, Todd Hundley, Dante Bichette|
|Key play: Brogna's home run, Hundley's grand slam, Bichette's home run|
The labor dispute of the previous year caused a delay to the start of the 1995 season. As things worked out, the Mets' game against the Rockies became the season opener and the first regular season game ever at Denver's Coors Field. The new park's inaugural contest included ten doubles and three home runs as the Rockies wound up with an 11-9 victory in 14 innings.
In the first inning, the Rockies scored the first two runs at Coors against Bobby Jones. Walt Weiss and Joe Girardi got leadoff singles and Larry Walker followed with a double to score Weiss. Dante Bichette then hit a sacrifice fly to bring home Girardi for the second run. Walker doubled again in the third to score Girardi, making it a 3-0 Colorado lead.
Rico Brogna led off the fourth inning for the Mets. Facing Rockies' starter Bill Swift, Brogna hit the first home run at Coors to give the Mets their first run of the game. However, the Rockies scored twice against Jones in the fifth on a Girardi double that brought home Swift and Andres Galarraga's single that drove in Girardi.
In the sixth, Brogna led off with a single. Swift got the next two batters to fly out to center before David Segui and Carl Everett added singles to load the bases. Todd Hundley then ripped into a Swift pitch, cracking it for a grand slam to tie the game. The Rockies retook the lead on a sacrifice fly by Eric Young in the bottom half of the inning.
The Mets tied it again on Bobby Bonilla's double off reliever Mike Munoz to score Brett Butler in the top of the seventh. Bonilla drove home Butler again in the top of the ninth with a single off Bruce Ruffin to put the Mets ahead, 7-6. With John Franco on the mound trying to close it out, Walker got his third double of the game to score Weiss with the tying run for Colorado.
Neither team plated a run from the tenth inning to the twelfth. The Mets then took an 8-7 lead against Rockies' reliever Curt Leskanic in the 13th. Butler hit a one-out double and came home on a single by Jose Vizcaino. Colorado tied it again in the bottom half when Jim Tatum hit a double to score Mike Kingery off the Mets' Mike Remlinger.
In the top of the 14th, Joe Orsulak got the game's tenth double off Colorado's Mark Thompson to score Ricky Otero and put the Mets ahead again. Girardi then began the bottom of the inning with a single off Remlinger. After an out, Galarraga reached on an error. Bichette followed with a three-run homer to win the game for the Rockies. The Mets had suffered a rare season-opening defeat on a dramatic blast to end Coors Field's inaugural game.