10/12/07 1:17 AM ET
Chess Match: Taveras the right move
Rockies manager sees speed pay off in NLCS Game 1
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
Hurdle decided to go with center fielder Willy Taveras in the leadoff spot for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Thursday night even though Taveras hadn't played since Sept. 8 because of a quad muscle injury and the Rockies had won 17 of their last 18 games. But the move paid dividends when Taveras' speed started a rally that put Colorado ahead to stay as they took Game 1 by a score of 5-1 at Chase Field.Taveras takes off
The situation: One out, top of the third inning, Taveras on first base and Kazuo Matsui up.
"That's one of the reasons Willy's been a good player for us, been a run scorer for us. He stays on a breaking ball and punches it in the outfield, steals a base. He can do those things. You can get a quick run with Willy. You can get a quick run with Kaz, and at the top, they put extra pressure on the defense. So we were hoping to get them in play a little bit and shake things up."
The situation: None out, top of the seventh, Yorvit Torrealba on first, pitcher's spot up.
"This team has done a good job executing the plays, and that's another example."
-- Rockies left fielder Matt Holliday
The situation: Two outs in the bottom of the seventh with Colorado leading, 5-1, bases loaded, Arizona's Stephen Drew coming to bat.
"We had some situations where we could have done some damage and we didn't. Today, we just didn't get it done and they did. We had a situation where with a base hit we could have knocked a couple in."
-- Arizona manager Bob Melvin
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.