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Big League Stew

Upton, D-Backs steal win in classic Coors Field opener

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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Whether it be Dante Bichette's 14th inning walk-off over the New York Mets opening the seal on Coors Field, or Mike Hampton tossing a shutout his debut, something weird or dramatic is sure to happen in the Colorado Rockies home opener.

Friday's was no different. Well, aside from the fact the hometown team couldn't send the crowd home happy, as they fell to the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 in 11 innings.

Upton up: Justin Upton was a big reason for that. Those hoping 2011 with be his breakout season will be pleased by today's results. In the 5th inning, Upton turned on an Ubaldo Jimenez fastball for a three-run homer. He later added a double and overall looked very comfortable at the plate all afternoon. {YSP:MORE}

Ubaldo down: Of chief concern to Rockies fans were the velocity issues of their anointed "Chief" Ubaldo Jimenez. Those who watch the speed gun expecting to see 98-99 all day were terrified when his fastball was consistently clocked between 88-92. Not sure if there's more to that story, but there's no denying Ubaldo was not the guy we saw even late in the 2010 season.

Controversy: It was another rough day for boys in blue. Two pivotal calls went in Arizona's favor that had the Coors faithful up in arms.

The first coming on a Todd Helton pop foul down the left field line. Fan interference was ruled as Arizona's Gerardo Parra slid in awkwardly to avoid an impact with the sidewall. The other call was simply blown when it was ruled Seth Smith did not make a sliding catch of a Chris Young liner. Replays confirmed the grab was made.

Watch fan interference call and watch Seth Smith catch.

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Collision: Justin Upton was in the middle of everything, including this head-on collision with Chris Iannetta.

Tulo's Firework(s) limited to music: After months of suggestions from a very vocal portion of Rockies fans, slugging shortstop Troy Tulowitzki opened a poll that allowed them to vote on his new walkup song.

The fans selection: Firework - Katy Perry

Tulowitzki's statline: 0-for-5, 2 strikeouts. Perhaps Tulo will overrule the fans and change his tune tomorrow.

Wild finish: And wouldn't you know today's game was ultimately decided by a Matt Lindstrom wild pitch. A few Houston Astros fans are probably saying, yeah, we knew.

Unexpected heroes: Arizona: Willie Bloomquist (three hits), bullpen (five innings, zero earned runs, eight strikeouts); Colorado: Jose Lopez (two hits, home run).

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