Chess Match: Smith comes through
Lifting pitcher for pinch-hitter produces big runs for Rockies
DENVER -- As he has throughout the postseason, Colorado manager Clint Hurdle continued to make all the right moves in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, from selecting the right pinch-hitter to deciding when to pull his starter, and as a result, the streaking Rockies are headed to the first World Series in franchise history.
The situation: Two outs and runners on second and third in the bottom of the fourth with the Rockies trailing, 2-1.
The outcome: Smith bloops a two-run double down the left-field line to give the Rockies the lead.
The analysis: Morales had held the Diamondbacks to a run on five hits, but with two outs and two runners in scoring position, it was the right call to pull him with a chance to take the lead. And did Smith ever deliver.
"Down 0-2, I was just looking to get the barrel on the ball; when you make contact sometimes good things happen. It wasn't hit hard, but obviously I'll take it."
The situation: The Diamondbacks trailed, 6-4, with two outs and a runner at third in the eighth.
The outcome: Corpas fans Clark to end the threat.
The analysis: Clark represented the tying run and certainly has the power to hit it out, but Corpas has been outstanding, so it was more favorable than Fuentes vs. the right-handed-hitting Jeff Cirillo.
"Manny's been doing the job for us all along and he did it again tonight."
The situation: Arizona's Micah Owings on first with no outs in the top of the third.
The outcome: Young lines out to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Drew flies out, but Conor Jackson picks up both with an RBI single after Eric Byrnes walks.
The analysis: The Diamondbacks entered the game 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position, but having scored only four runs in three games, giving up outs wasn't an attractive option, either."Stephen, that's an easy one. He's my only left-handed bat there in the inning. It's going to be a fastball. He has a chance to tie the game. If that's not the tying run, then I obviously don't let him swing, but right there you know you're going to get a fastball, you know you're going to get a pitch to drive."
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.