Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
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Friday, October 12, 2007
Top of the 1st
UNTIL THE BUBBLE BURSTS
Mrs. Ball thinks all men chew gum like cows. She doesn’t mean it as a compliment. Although she would change her perspective on the rest of us if she took the time to notice Rockies manager Clint Hurdle’s “style.”
Hurdle clearly is enjoying his team’s success and as I was watching Colorado’s definitive 5-1 victory over the Diamondbacks last night, I couldn’t help but notice that every time the camera moved to the Rockies dugout, there was Clint chewing his cud.
Now this is a big wad of gum that he chews and blows bubbles with and clearly uses it to relieve stress or simply enjoy. You can see the wad as he widely opens his mouth or simply lets the gum hang out. According to Arnie Stapleton, AP Sports Writer, Hurdle’s been popping wads of Bazooka bubble gum into his mouth way more than Rolaids tablets for the last three weeks.
Hurdle clearly has bubblegum on the mind. At the start of this long season Hurdle spoke admiringly of the Padres, Greg Maddux, “”He’s a good pitcher,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said, “Have you looked at the back of his bubble gum card??’
Clint Hurdle was one of these guys who a lot of people thought would be a star in the majors. He was even on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1978 as “This Year’s Phenom.” The Royals drafted him in the first round at age 17, in 1974. Hurdle made his major league debut on Sept. 18, 1977 and hung around for a 10-year big league career, which included five seasons in Kansas City and tours with Cincinnati, New York (NL) and St. Louis. 1980, was his best overall season, when he hit .294 with 10 homers and 60 RBI on the Royals AL championship club. In the 1980 World Series against the Phillies, he hit .417 (5-for-12) but back troubles hampered his career from that point on.
Hurdle was the kind of guy you wanted on your team though. He played primarily the outfield but was willing to fill in at third, first, even catcher. Hurdle’s last appearance in the majors was as a member of the NY Mets when on June 26, 1987, he pinch-hit for Sid Fernandez and struck out looking against Kevin Gross. His last hit was in his prior at bat on June 17, when he lined a single for the Mets off of Montreal’s Bryn Smith. He finished his career with a .259 batting average with 32 homers and 193 RBI. His most significant home run was the final one hit at Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium in September of 1981.
Hurdle got his first managerial job at 30, and in his first year, in 1988, he led the Mets’ Class A team to a league championship and haltingly made his way up the ranks until he found a spot in Colorado.
Even there it has been difficult. It’s taken him a number of years to become an overnight sensation:
2002 NL West Colorado 67 73 .479 4
2003 NL West Colorado 74 88 .457 4
2004 NL West Colorado 68 94 .420 4
2005 NL West Colorado 67 95 .414 5
2006 NL West Colorado 76 86 .469 4
2007 NL West Colorado 90 73 .552 2
“I never get outside of myself to think I’m a difference maker,” Hurdle has said. Referring to his players, Hurdle adds, “These guys are the ones who keep things in place.”
Much of his outlook on life comes from his role with his five-year old daughter Madison who suffers from Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a lifelong, unpredictable disorder. Caused by a missing segment of genes on a chromosome, it can lead to overeating and conditions ranging from low muscle tone to moderate retardation to morbid obesity. It affects one of every 12,000-15,000 babies, according to the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (www.pwsausa.org). When fans see him on Saturday mornings having breakfast with his kids, they always know that once you ask about Maddie, you have him. “Clint gets five minutes of fame when he comes home every night,” his wife says.
So while there are many reasons to root for the Rockies, learning about Hurdle and Maddie is certainly another one. In the meantime, he’ll keep chewing his gum like a cow and keep things in perspective even if the bubble bursts.
Top of the 2nd
THE POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Cleveland Indians vs. Boston Red Sox
Gm Date Site Time ET (TV)
1 Fri., Oct. 12 @BOS 7 p.m. (FOX)
CLE: C. Sabathia (1-0, 5.40) BOS: J. Beckett (1-0, 0.00)
2 Sat., Oct. 13 @BOS 8 p.m. (FOX)
CLE: F. Carmona (0-0, 1.00) BOS: C. Schilling (1-0, 0.00)
3 Mon., Oct. 15 @CLE 7 p.m. (FOX)
BOS: D. Matsuzaka (0-0, 5.79) CLE: J. Westbrook (0-1, 10.80)
4 Tues., Oct. 16 @CLE 8 p.m. (FOX)
BOS: T. Wakefield (0-0, 0.00) P. Byrd (1-0, 3.60)
* 5 Thurs., Oct. 18 @CLE 8 p.m. (FOX)
BOS: J. Beckett (1-0, 0.00) CLE: C. Sabathia (1-0, 5.40)
* 6 Sat., Oct. 20 @BOS TBD (FOX)
* 7 Sun., Oct. 21 @BOS TBD (FOX)
* if necessary
NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES
Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
Gm Date Site Time ET (TV)
Thurs., Oct. 11 @ARI COL 5, ARI 1
W: J. Francis (2-0) L: B. Webb (1-1)
2 Fri., Oct. 12 @ARI 10 p.m. (TBS)
COL: U. Jimenez (0-0, 1.42) ARI: D. Davis (1-0, 6.35)
3 Sun., Oct. 14 @COL 8:30 (TBS)
ARI: L. Hernandez (1-0, 1.50) COL: J. Fogg (1-0, 0.00)
4 Mon,. Oct. 15 @COL 10 p.m. (TBS)
ARI: M. Owings (0-0, 0.00) COL: F. Morales (0-0, 9.00)
* 5 Wed., Oct. 17 @COL 8:30 p.m. (TBS)
ARI: B. Webb COL: J. Francis (1-0, 3.00)
* 6 Fri., Oct. 19 @ARI 8:30 p.m. (TBS)
* 7 Sat., Oct. 20 @ARI TBD (TBS)
* if necessary
Gm Date Site Time (TV)
1 Wed., Oct. 24 AL hosts FOX
2 Thurs., Oct. 25 AL hosts FOX
3 Sat., Oct. 27 NL hosts FOX
4 Sun., Oct. 28 NL hosts FOX
* 5 Mon., Oct. 29 NL hosts FOX
* 6 Wed., Oct. 31 AL hosts FOX
* 7 Thurs., Nov. 1 AL hosts FOX
Top of the 3rd
Here’s another reason why we are rooting for Colorado – On page 5 of the Arizona Republic sports section Thursday, a half-page ad announcing “TICKETS ON SALE NOW D-BACKS vs. ROCKIES.”
I think Don Orsillo did a terrific job doing play-by-play covering the early Rockies games. It’s so nice to hear him remain focused on baseball without the usual (ahem) NESN distracter by his side.
On the other hand, Chip Carey has been miserable and consistently misleading with misinformation. On top of that, the work of Cal Ripken, Tony Gwynn, and Frank Thomas has been so mediocre that I’m starting to get embarrassed for them.
MESSAGE TO BE BOTTLED
“Being a small market is only an excuse if you let it be an excuse.”
Mark Shapiro, Indians general manager, on beating the Yankees in the American League Division Series.
TROT, TROT, TO CLEVELAND
Trot Nixon, a former Red Sox first- round draft choice and a regular in right field from 1999-2006, left as a free agent last offseason after the Sox wasted their money on J.D. Drew, signing him to a five-year, $70 million contract. Both Drew and Nixon will be backups when the best-of-seven series begins tonight.
Drew hit .270 with 11 home runs and 64 RBI in his first season in Boston and went 2-for-11 in the first round of the playoffs. He has faced Indians Game 1 starter C.C. Sabathia three times, with three strikeouts, so Bobby Kielty, a switch-hitter will play right field in the opener instead.
“Trot has really served in a leadership capacity for us from Day 1,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said yesterday. “He was a tremendous influence on our ballclub early on in the year and has continued to be that influence. Even when we went with (Franklin) Gutierrez and started playing him a little bit more . . . he still stood the course.”
Nixon batted .251 with three homers and 31 RBI this season, but he didn’t drive in a run after July 29, as Gutierrez took over the everyday duties. He played one game in the first-round series against the New York Yankees, facing Roger Clemens and going 2-for-4 with a homer and a double.
Citing rule 7.09(f), second baseman umpire Larry Vanover called Justin Upton for intentionally interfering with second baseman Kaz Matsui, a call that automatically meant Augie Ojeda, the batter running to first base, is out. “Once (Upton) got to the base, I thought he threw his hip up into the guy, and his intent at that point is not to get to the base,” Vanover said. “His intent is to crash the pivot man, so you’ve got obvious intent there.” The Arizona fans reacted with a barrage of plastic water bottles and then resumed their indifference.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
The Rockies have won 9 straight on the road. Their last loss on the road was Sept. 13 at Philadelphia.
WE’VE GOT KAZ’ NUMBER
Kaz Matsui began wearing No. 7 as a child in Japan because it felt right. It wasn’t available in New York with the Mets, so he wore 25 (digits that add up to seven) and did the same last year in Colorado. This year, he has No. 7 again.
I BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS
Gov. Bill Ritter and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano have agreed if the Diamondbacks win the best-of-seven series, Ritter will wear a Sedona red jersey and have his picture taken in it. If the Rockies win, Napolitano will wear the purple and black Colorado jersey.
Denver mayor John Hickenlooper could end up enjoying four “Big Units”, gigantic hot dogs sold at Alicecooperstown, from rock star Alice Cooper’s restaurant near Chase Field in Phoenix. Hickenlooper is putting up a four-serving Rocky Mountain buffalo meatloaf from the Rocky Mountain Diner. In addition, if Colorado wins, Phoenix will treat an entire classroom of Denver kids to a Rockies game home game or vice-versa.
According to Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson’s office, he and Mayor Menino of Boston
do not have a wager; according to a spokesperson, “Mayor Jackson is waiting for the World Series.”
When I called Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, nobody was aware of any bet and one aid in the press office asked a wager with “which governor?” Ohio Governor Strickland’s office called and while it was explained to me that there was no wager at this time, my suggestion of chocolate covered buckeyes in exchange for some lobster sounded like a good idea to his aide.
Top of the 4th
* The Red Sox were the AL East champion
Overall Record: 96-66 – Home Record: 51-30 – Road Record: 45-36
* The Indians were the AL Central champion
Overall Record: 96-66 – Home Record: 52-29 – Road Record: 44-37
* The Indians haven’t won the World Series since beating the Boston Braves in 1948 – the longest title drought in the AL.
* Cleveland won six of seven AL Central titles from 1995 through 2001. The Atlanta Braves beat them in six games in the ’95 World Series. In 1997, the Florida Marlins beat them in Game 7 of the World Series on Edgar Renteria’s RBI single in the last of the 11th inning.
* Cleveland won 111 games in 1954, then got swept by the New York Giants in the World Series.
* In 2005, the Indians lost six of the last seven games to be eliminated from playoff contention.
* The Red Sox were second in the majors in team ERA and the Indians were fifth.
* The Indians went 48-24 in Central Division play this season.
* Boston was tops in the AL in bullpen ERA, 3.10.
* Cleveland was No. 1 in the AL in starters’ ERA, 4.19.
* During the regular season, left-handed hitters hit .145 in 83 at-bats against rookie left-handed pitcher Rafael Perez. Right-handers hit .213 with 40 strikeouts in 136 at-bats.
* During the regular season, the Indians hit .257 with two out and runners in scoring position and had the league’s third-worst average (.255) for all at-bats with runners in scoring position.
* C.C. Sabathia lasted at least seven innings in 24 of 34 regular-season starts.
* Bobby Kielty, a switch-hitter, is 9-for-29 with two homers and four strikeouts in his career against Sabathia.
* J.D. Drew has faced Sabathia three times with three strikeouts.
* Fausto Carmona is 5-0 with a 1.62 ERA in his past six starts dating to September.
* Boston’s playoff roster has no home runs in 100 career at-bats against Westbrook.
* Paul Byrd had only 4.12 strikeouts per nine innings during the regular season.
* Aaron Fultz held left-handed hitters to a .191 average with curveballs.
* Grady Sizemore had 33 steals in 43 tries during the regular season.
* Sizemore has had three consecutive seasons with 20 home runs and 20 steals.
* Sizemore had the second-best on-base plus slugging percentage total among AL leadoff hitters at .842. Detroit’s Curtis Granderson led at .926.
* Kenny Lofton is playing in his 11th postseason.
* The Indians lead the all-time series, 1,008-938
* Boston is 15-22 in 37 lifetime ALCS games
* The Red Sox are 3-4 in 7 previous trips, defeating Oakland in 1975, California in 1986, and the Yankees in 2004. The losses have come to Oakland in 1988 and 1990 and the Yankees in 1999 and 2003.
* The Red Sox are 65-61-1 all-time in post-season play and 13-11 in 24 overall postseason series.
* Since the start of 2004, the Red Sox are 14-6 playoff action, winning 11 of last 14.
* Manny Ramirez will face his former team for the first time ever in post-season play.
* Ramirez has 22 homers lifetime in postseason play, tying Bernie Williams for the most all-time.
* J.D. Drew hit .270 with 11 homers and 64 RBIs
* Kielty hit .231 in 52 at bats for Boston.
* Josh Beckett at Fenway in 2007 was 9-5, with a 4.17 ERA, giving up 51 earned runs in 110 innings pitched over 17 games started.
* On the road in 2007, Beckett was 11-2, 2.18 ERA (22 ER/90.2 IP), in 13 games started.
* Overall in 2007, versus Beckett the opposition had a .245 (189-772) batting average and 17 homers. His WHIP was 1.14
* Lefties in 2007, versus Beckett, hit .255 (97-380) with 6 homers.
* Lefties in 2007, versus Beckett, hit .235 (92-392) with 11 homers.
* Travis Hafner is 4 for 9 lifetime against Beckett with 1 homer and 3 RBI.
* Beckett has 4 career regular season complete games and 3 career post-season complete games.
* Dustin Pedroia hit .370 for 27 at-bats against Cleveland during the regular season.
* Jonathan Papelbon held left-handed hitters to a .104 average with 56 strikeouts in 115 at-bats.
* In 20 regular-season appearances with the Red Sox, Eric Gagne allowed 35 baserunners in 18 2/3 innings.
* Kevin Youkilis saw 4.27 pitches per plate appearance, but hit only .238 with a .356 on-base percentage.
* David Ortiz had a league-high 32 doubles at home during the regular season.
* Mike Lowell had a .514 slugging percentage against right-handers and .466 percentage against left-handers during the regular season.
* J.D. Drew hit .224 against left-handers during the regular season.
* Jason Varitek hit .221 with runners in scoring position for the season.
* Franklin Gutierrez hit .330 against left-handers in the regular season.
* David Ortiz is the leading home run hitter in Red Sox postseason history with 10.
* Sox pitchers kept the Angels off the scoreboard in 25-of-27 postseason innings.
* Curt Schilling has walked five batters in 10 starts since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 6.
* Schilling is 4-0 with a 0.93 ERA in five career Division Series starts.
* The Red Sox committed 81 errors and the Indians committed 92.
2007 RESULTS, BOS won 5, CLE won 2.
Date Score Winner Loser
2007-05-28 @BOS CLE W 5-3 C Schilling C Lee
2007-05-29 @BOS CLE W 4-2 J Beckett J Sowers
2007-05-30 @BOS CLE L 4-8 P Byrd D Matsuzaka
2007-07-23 BOS @CLE W 6-2 J Lester J Westbrook
2007-07-24 BOS @CLE W 1-0 D Matsuzaka C Sabathia
2007-07-25 BOS @CLE L 0-1 F Carmona J Beckett
2007-07-26 BOS @CLE W 14-9 J Tavarez C Lee
RESULTS LAST FIVE YEARS
2003: BOS won 4, CLE won 2.
2004: BOS won 3, CLE won 4.
2005: BOS won 4, CLE won 2.
2006: BOS won 3, CLE won 4.
2007: BOS won 5, CLE won 2.
Fenway Park – 2,970,755 (4th out of 14)
Jacobs Field – 2,275,912 (10th out of 14)
Top of the 5th
BOSTON AND CLEVELAND STAT PACK
2007 RED SOX HITTING LEADERS
Batting Average – David Ortiz .332
On-base % – Ortiz .445
Slugging % – Ortiz .621
OPS Ortiz – 1.066
Games – Mike Lowell 154
At Bats – Lowell 589
Runs – Ortiz 116
Hits – Lowell 191
Total Bases – Ortiz 341
Doubles – Ortiz 52
Triples – Coco Crisp 7
Home Runs – Ortiz 35
RBI – Lowell 120
Bases on Balls – Ortiz 111
Strikeouts – Jason Varitek 122
Stolen Bases – Julio Lugo 33
Singles – Lowell 131
Extra-Base Hits – Ortiz 88
Times on Base – Ortiz 297
Hit By Pitch – Kevin Youkilis 15
Sac. Hits – Crisp 9
Sac. Flies – Lowell and Manny Ramirez 8
Intentional Walks – Ramirez 13
Grounded into Double Plays – Ramirez 21
Caught Stealing – Crisp and Lugo 6
At Bats per Strikeout – Dustin Pedroia 12.4
At Bats per Home Run – Ortiz 15.7
Outs Lugo – 462
2007 RED SOX PITCHING LEADERS
ERA – Josh Beckett 3.27
Wins – Beckett 20
Won-Loss % – Beckett .741
BB + H per IP (WHIP) – Beckett 1.141
Hits Allowed/9IP – Daisuke Matsuzaka 8.40
Bases on Balls/9IP – Beckett 1.79
Strikeouts/9IP – Matsuzaka 8.84
Games – Hideki Okajima 66
Saves – Jonathan Papelbon 37
Innings – Matsuzaka 204.7
Strikeouts – Matsuzaka 201
Games Started – Matsuzaka 32
Comp. Games – Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Kason Gabbard, Matsuzaka, and Curt Schilling 1
Shutouts – Buchholz, Gabbard, and Schilling 1
Home Runs Allowed – Matsuzaka 25
Bases On Balls Allowed – Matsuzaka 80
Hits Allowed – Matsuzaka and Tim Wakefield 191
SO to Walk – Beckett 4.85
Losses – Matsuzaka and Wakefield 12
Earned Runs Allowed – Matsuzaka and Wakefield 100
Wild Pitches – Wakefield 10
Hit Batsmen – Matsuzaka 13
Batters Faced – Matsuzaka 874
Games Finished – Papelbon 53
2007 CLEVELAND INDIANS HITTING LEADERS
Batting Average – Victor Martinez .301
On-base % – Grady Sizemore .390
Slugging % – Martinez .505
OPS – Martinez .879
Games – Sizemore 162
At Bats – Sizemore 628
Runs – Sizemore 118
Hits – Sizemore 174
Total Bases – Sizemore 290
Doubles – Martinez 40
Triples – Sizemore 5
Home Runs – Martinez 25
RBI – Martinez 114
Bases on Balls – Travis Hafner 102
Strikeouts – Sizemore 155
Stolen Bases – Sizemore 33
Singles – Sizemore 111
Extra-Base Hits Martinez 65
Times on Base Sizemore 292
Hit By Pitch – Ryan Garko 20
Sac. Hits – Casey Blake, Asdrubel Cabrera, and Franklin Gutierrez 5
Sac. Flies – Martinez 11
Intentional Walks – Hafner 17
Grounded into Double Plays – Martinez 19
Caught Stealing – Sizemore 10
At Bats per Strikeout – Martinez 7.4
At Bats per Home Run – Martinez 22.5
Outs – Sizemore 469
2007 CLEVELAND INDIANS PITCHING LEADERS
ERA – Fausto Carmona 3.06
Wins – Carmona and C.C. Sabathia 19
Won-Loss % – Sabathia .731
BB + H per IP (WHIP) – Sabathia 1.141
Hits Allowed/9IP – Carmona 8.33
Bases on Balls/9IP – Paul Byrd 1.31
Strikeouts/9IP – Sabathia 7.80
Games – Joe Borowski 69
Saves – Borowski 45
Innings – Sabathia 241.0
Strikeouts – Sabathia 209
Games Started – Sabathia 34
Comp. Games – Sabathia 4
Shutouts – Byrd 2
Home Runs Allowed – Byrd 27
Bases On Balls Allowed – Carmona 61
Hits Allowed – Byrd 239
SO to Walk – Sabathia 5.65
Losses – Jake Westbrook 9
Earned Runs Allowed – Byrd 98
Wild Pitches – Byrd, Carmona, Cliff Lee, and Paul Mastny 5
Hit Batsmen – Carmona 11
Batters Faced – Sabathia 975
Games Finished – Borowski 58
Top of the 6th
BUILDING THE ROSTERS
BOSTON RED SOX, AGE, HOW ACQUIRED
Josh Beckett 27 Trade, 2005
Manny Delcarmen 25 Draft, 2000 second round
Eric Gagne 31 Trade, 2007
Jon Lester 23 Draft, 2002 second round
Javier Lopez 30 Trade, 2006
Daisuke Matsuzaka 26 Free agent, 2006
Hideki Okajima 31 Free agent, 2006
Jonathan Papelbon 26 Draft, 2003 fourth round
Curt Schilling 40 Trade, 2003
Mike Timlin 41 Free agent, 2002
Kevin Cash 29 Free agent, 2007
Doug Mirabelli 36 Trade, 2006
Jason Varitek 35 Trade, 1997
Alex Cora 31 Trade, 2005
Eric Hinske 30 Trade, 2006
Mike Lowell 33 Trade, 2005
Julio Lugo 30 Free agent, 2006
Dustin Pedroia 23 Draft, 2004 second round
Kevin Youkilis 28 Draft, 2001, eighth round
Coco Crisp 27 Trade, 2006
J.D. Drew 31 Free agent, 2007
Jacoby Ellsbury 24 Draft, 2005 first round
Bobby Kielty 31 Minor league free agent, 2007
Manny Ramirez 35 Free agent, 2000
David Ortiz 31 Free agent, 2003
CLEVELAND INDIANS ROSTER, AGE, HOW ACQUIRED
Rafael Betancourt 35 Minor league free agent, 2002
Joe Borowski 36 Free agent, 2006
Paul Byrd 36 Free agent, 2005
Fausto Carmona 23 Non-drafted free agent, 2000
Aaron Fultz 34 Free agent, 2006
Aaron Laffey 22 Draft, 2003 13th round
Jensen Lewis 23 Draft, 2005 third round
Tom Mastny 26 Trade, 2004
Rafael Perez 25 Non-drafted free agent, 2002
C.C. Sabathia 27 Draft, 1998 first round
Jake Westbrook 30 Trade, 2000
Victor Martinez 28 Non-drafted free agent, 1996
Kelly Shoppach 27 Trade, 2006
Josh Barfield 24 Trade, 2006
Casey Blake 34 Free agent, 2002
Asdrubal Cabrera 21 Trade, 2006
Ryan Garko 26 Draft, 2003 third round
Chris Gomez 36 Waivers, 2007
Jhonny Peralta 25 Non-drafted free agent, 1999
Franklin Gutierrez 24 Trade, 2004
Kenny Lofton 40 Trade, 2007
Jason Michaels 31 Trade, 2006
Trot Nixon 33 Free agent, 2007
Grady Sizemore 25 Trade, 2002
Travis Hafner 30 Trade, 2002
Top of the 7th
ALCS GAME 1 – Cleveland-Boston, 6:35 p.m. ET, ESPN Radio
LHP C.C. Sabathia, Indians
* 2-4, 3.91 career ERA vs. Red Sox
* 56-28 career on road, third-best road win percentage (.667), since his career began in 2001 (minimum 50 decisions), trailing only Chris Carpenter and Johan Santana
* Key matchup: Manny Ramirez (.571 BA, four HRs, 21 at-bats),
RHP Josh Beckett, Red Sox
* 3-1, 0.70 ERA in last five postseason appearances, with three shutouts
* 1-3, 6.57 ERA in four career starts vs. Indians
* Key matchup: Travis Hafner (4-for-9, one HR, three walks)
NLCS GAME 2 – Colorado-Arizona, 9:35 p.m. ET, ESPN Radio
RHP Ubaldo Jimenez, Rockies
* Held Diamondbacks hitters to 4-for-43 hitting over two starts, but got two no-decisions, with a 2.77 ERA
* Had 5.01 ERA on road, as compared to 3.81 ERA at Coors Field
* Key matchup: Tony Clark (0-4, three strikeouts)
LHP Doug Davis, Diamondbacks
* 2-3, 3.00 career ERA vs Rockies, but Colorado hitters have a .322 batting average against him
* Allowed 29 first-inning runs, fourth-most in majors, third-most in National League
* Key matchups: Todd Helton (5-for-9, one HR, three walks), Matt Holliday (4-for-8, two walks), and Garrett Atkins (5-for-9)
Thanks to ESPN.com’s Diamond Daily with Mark Simon for this report.
Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
Last night’s winning pitcher for the Rockies, Jeff Francis, is 26, left-handed and majored in physics and astronomy at the University of British Columbia. He also appears on this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated (dated October 15th) for the second time in his career. The North Delta, British Columbia native, who was also featured on July 24, 2006. He now takes sole possession of the lead for Canadian baseball players to grace the SI cover, breaking his tie with Fergie Jenkins, Larry Walker, and Eric Gagn