for this game

Taveras draws bases-loaded walk in 11th to give Rockies 2-0 lead

Oct 13, 2007 - 8:08 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The Colorado Rockies couldn't close the deal in the ninth, but took total control of the National League Championship Series two frames later.

Willy Taveras drew a walk with the bases loaded in the top of the 11th inning and the Rockies held on to take a commanding two games to none lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 3-2 victory Friday night at Chase Field.

The Rockies, who are the first NL team to win their first five postseason games since the Cincinnati Reds in 1976, won the opener, 5-1, on Thursday and will return home and try for a 20th win in 21 games Sunday at Coors Field.

"We're playing with a lot of momentum, all 25 (guys) are in play, everybody counts or nobody counts," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "We're just locking into one game at a time and we're starting to pick up some momentum, but this is a good ball club that we're going to play."

"We'll have the off day to regroup and head into Colorado and focus on taking it one game at a time," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "We have come back from difficult circumstances this year. It's two games and the team has to win four before it is over."

Arizona closer Jose Valverde (0-1), pitching in his second inning, reached uncharted waters after Ryan Spilborghs reached on a swinging bunt down the third base line to open the 11th. Having never thrown more than 32 pitches in any of his outings this season, Valverde surpassed that total when he lost Brad Hawpe on a 3-2 pitch.

"He's pitched out of a lot of jams over the course of the season, so he was going to be out there until he gave up a run," Melvin said. "You gotta keep him in there he's the closer. In there for two innings and once he gives up a run you go get him. You gotta at least go with your best until they get a run."

After Yorvit Torrealba popped out, Jamey Carroll worked a full-count walk, setting the stage for Taveras, who walked on four straight pitches - the fourth being the 42nd and last by Valverde.

"I wasn't tired," Valverde said. "I just didn't throw good pitches.

"But we still have a lot of confidence."

The run was the first earned run over 17 innings in the postseason by the Arizona bullpen.

Doug Slaten entered and got Kaz Matsui on a fly ball to right to escape further damage.

With another one-run lead to protect, the Rockies went to Ryan Speier, who worked a perfect frame for his first save in his major league career.

Manny Corpas (1-0), who blew the save in the ninth, pitched a scoreless 10th for the win.

The righthander made a big mistake in the ninth by hitting Chris Young with a 1-2 pitch in the back with one out. Young raced to third when Stephen Drew singled to right-center and Eric Byrnes then hit a chopper to second baseman Kaz Matsui, who pulled shortstop Troy Tulowitzki off the bag with a high throw, allowing Young to score.

However, Drew didn't know that he was ruled safe, wondered off the base and was tagged for the second out of the inning. Tony Clark then grounded out hard to short to end the game and force extra innings.

"It looked like he touched the bag from my standpoint and when I looked back there was no call so I figured I was out," Drew said. "I started heading back but I was told to get back but by that time I got into a pickle."

The run was just the third allowed in 18 innings this postseason by the bullpen.

The blown save by Corpas, just his second of the entire season, spoiled an electric outing from Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who made his third outstanding pressure-packed start.

In the regular-season finale against Arizona, Jimenez allowed just a run and a hit with a season-high 10 strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings in a game Colorado won, 4-3, to force a one-game playoff with San Diego. In Game Three of the NLDS with Philadelphia, he yielded just a run and three hits in 6 1/3 additional frames.

"It was a very gutsy performance," Hurdle said. "He had to make pitches. He pitched around some traffic. But he hung in there and he's got a lot of confidence and he's got good stuff."

Against the Diamondbacks, Jimenez threw 96 pitches and surrendered just a run and five hits with four walks and six strikeouts - many of them in key situations.

Arizona got a leadoff double in the second by Clark before the 23-year-old flamethrower regrouped and struck out three consecutive batters on 99 miles-per hour fastballs.

"I wasn't trying to throw that hard but I got little bit excited and my fastball was working," Jimenez said. "I had to go with my best pitch and I threw my fastball with everything I had and was able to get some strikeouts when I needed to."

The Dominican yielded a pair of singles in the fourth but whipped another fastball past Augie Ojeda to end that frame before getting himself in trouble in the fifth with one-out walks to Young and Drew.

Jimenez reached back again, getting Byrnes to pop up on a sharp slider and, after a wild pitch and an intentional walk to Clark, he struck out Mark Reynolds with three consecutive high-90 mph heaters.

Matt Herges worked the sixth and LaTroy Hawkins worked around a two-out single in the seventh when center fielder Willy Taveras made a great diving catch of an extra-base bid by Clark that would have tied the game.

"I don't know if we have another guy on our club that can make that play," Hurdle said.

"I don't think he (Clark) crushed that ball, he hit it good but the ball hung up a little," Taveras said. "I just took off running and tried to make it for the team. It was a great catch and might have saved the tie right there."

Fuentes worked the eighth before Corpas let it get away.

Colorado took an early 1-0 lead in the second. Todd Helton led off by reaching on an error by third baseman Reynolds, who let a hard grounder go right under his glove.

After Davis struck out the next two hitters, Hawpe lined a hard single to center field after fouling off five consecutive 2-2 pitches before Yorvit Torrealba fisted a ball over the first base bag that landed just inside the foul line.

Arizona tied it in the third inning, when Arizona starter Doug Davis led off by lining a double over Taveras' head and scoring on a line single to right-center by Young.

Davis, one of the worst hitting pitchers in the game, was 4-for-58 during the regular season and hadn't doubled in over two years.

Colorado took a 2-1 lead in the fifth that stood up until the ninth.

Davis walked Taveras to lead off the frame, and the speedster advanced to second on a base hit by Matsui. Both runners moved up on a flyout to left field by Matt Holliday and Taveras scored on a sacrifice fly to medium left field by Helton.






  • jwt9478 This game was lost due a lack of alot of experience. Hopefully this young DB squad won't fall completely apart.

    Rockies vs. DiamondbacksOct 13 8:32 AM


  • NL
    FINAL 11
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    COLORADO 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
    ARIZONA 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
    10 11 R H E
    -- -- - - -
    COLORADO 0 1 3 7 1
    ARIZONA 0 0 2 9 1 (FINAL 11)

    BATTERIES: COL

    Oct 13 2:52 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO WILLY TAVERAS SCORED RYAN SPILBORGHS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, W TAVERAS ON FIRST, J CARROLL ON SECOND, B
    HAWPE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 3
    ARIZONA 2 TOP, 11TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: K MATSUI (.250, 1-FOR-3, BB, SAC)

    Rockies vs. DiamondbacksOct 13 2:33 AM


  • NL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    COLORADO 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
    ARIZONA 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
    10 R H E
    -- - - -
    COLORADO 0 2 6 1
    ARIZONA 0 2 9 1 (TOP 11)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: COL - MAN

    Rockies vs. DiamondbacksOct 13 2:12 AM
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    Rockies vs. DiamondbacksOct 13 1:36 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY TODD HELTON SCORED WILLY TAVERAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K MATSUI ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 2
    ARIZONA 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.200, 0-FOR-2)

    Rockies vs. DiamondbacksOct 13 12:04 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHRIS YOUNG SCORED DOUG DAVIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C YOUNG ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
    ARIZONA 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: S DREW (.200, 0-FOR-1)

    Rockies vs. DiamondbacksOct 12 11:22 PM
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    Rockies vs. DiamondbacksOct 12 10:53 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YORVIT TORREALBA SCORED TODD HELTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y TORREALBA ON FIRST, B HAWPE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: COLORADO 1
    ARIZONA 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: U JIMENEZ (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Rockies vs. DiamondbacksOct 12 10:51 PM
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