By: Jason Mumm
The Colorado Rockies didn’t have to travel very far for their opening day game vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks. Phoenix’s Chase Field is but a stone’s throw from the Rockies spring training camp – a facility they in fact share with their NL West rival hosts. Maybe it was the familiar climate that made opening day for the Rockies feel more like a home opener, or perhaps there was another story brewing.
Drawing an opening day match up against one of the game’s better RHPs in Zack Greinke would not be an ideal situation for any rookie, but Trevor Story, Colorado’s newly anointed shortstop, made the best of the odds in spectacular fashion by only doing something that nobody in the history of baseball had ever done before in clubbing two home runs for hits number one and two in an opening-day MLB debut.
In a night where pitching was at a surprising premium with Greinke making his first start for the Diamondbacks club that lured him away from the Dodgers with double-plus money in the off-season, and normally solid Jorge De La Rosa on the bump for Colorado, the story of a 10-5 offensive display belonged to the rookie shortstop for the Rockies. After grounding out in his very first MLB plate appearance in the 1st inning, Story came to the plate again in the 3rd with two runners on and delivered a blistering 369-foot roper to the opposite field to record his first MLB hit, a 3-run homer that gave the Rockies a 4-1 lead. Not to be outdone, in only his third plate appearance coming in the 4th inning, Story rang up a solo shot to left field that traveled 439 feet. The bomb gave the Rockies what seemed like an insurmountable 7-1 lead.
Insurmountable, except this is the Rockies after all. The Diamondbacks got to De La Rosa in the 5th making the game a 7-5 affair until Nolan Arenado put it away in the 8th with a 3-run blast of his own. Justin Miller was perfect in relief for the Rockies and recorded the win, and the Rockies got off on the right foot after a lot of 5th inning drama.
But make no mistake: the story of the night was Trevor Story. Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Story. You’re not a “kid” in the bus leagues anymore, and the title of “mister” seems fittingly respectful.