Notes: Forecast calls for cold, showers
Rockies say they have no advantage in chillier temps
DENVER -- The forecast for Sunday night's Game 3 of the National League Championship Series calls for around 42 degrees with showers at Coors Field.
The knee-jerk assumption is that it should favor the Rockies, who lead the Diamondbacks, 2-0, in the best-of-seven series. After all, their home is the Rocky Mountains, while the Diamondbacks' home is the Arizona desert.
It's true that the wind comes sweeping down the plain in Matt Holliday's home state of Oklahoma, and Tennessee native Todd Helton can tell you that they sing about Old Smoky being covered with snow. But that doesn't mean they were brought up to play baseball in nasty weather.
The rest of the Rockies' lineup consists of two players from California, and one apiece from Florida, Texas, Venezuela, Japan and the Dominican Republic.
"They're usually tough games for everyone involved, but everyone's got to play in the same conditions," said third baseman Garrett Atkins, from Irvine, Calif. "We just try to enjoy it as best you can."
The going wisdom is that pitchers have the advantage, especially if batters' hands become cold, but Rockies starting pitcher Josh Fogg said the pitcher loses his advantage if it rains.
"The rain delay could be the one thing that might bother a starting pitcher, not knowing [when the game would continue]," Fogg said. "If there's rain early on, first, second, third inning, it can throw off how many pitches you're able to throw that day.
"But the good thing is both guys have to go out there and deal with it."
Special witnesses: Rockies righty reliever Ryan Speier said his mother and stepfather, Michelle and Ron Bennett, made the trip from their Virginia home to Phoenix for Game 2, and wound up witnessing his first Major League save.
Speier said at least he was well-prepared to throw. He warmed up in multiple innings and estimated he threw 75 pitches before being called into the game. After seeing Matt Herges, LaTroy Hawkins, Brian Fuentes and Manny Corpas pitch, he wasn't shocked to be summoned.
Still, the moment manager Clint Hurdle called him into the game brought nerves.
"I could barely feel my legs out there I was so amped up," Speier said. "I had to step back and take a breath."
He composed himself enough to pitch a perfect inning with a strikeout.
Single-purpose chamber: The so-called "humidor," where baseballs are kept at Coors Field to prevent them from shrinking and hardening in the Rocky Mountain atmosphere, is a subject of curiosity for the sporting press.
But Hurdle said the chamber for the baseballs is only for balls.
"I have my own humidor in the office for cigars," he said.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.