10/14/07 8:17 PM ET
Notes: Byrnes' remarks harmless
Teams battle rain, chill; Game 4 starter an option off bench
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
The D-backs may want to come up with a similar phrase for when the always entertaining Eric Byrnes says something funny during a session with the media.
Just Eric being Eric.
Byrnes stole the show and the headlines during a Saturday press conference, when he declared that Arizona had actually outplayed Colorado despite the fact that the Rockies won the first two games.
Manager Bob Melvin said he didn't think that the comments would have an effect one way or another on the series.
"He's a vocal guy," Melvin said. "He's going to say what he wants. I don't know that everybody reads everything that's out there in this clubhouse, anyway. It used to be that there was a lot of fodder for bulletin boards and so forth. Nowadays, you see guys being a little more vocal about things, and I don't know if it matters one way or the other."
It seems like Colorado manager Clint Hurdle was at least aware of the comments, but he declined to give his opinion of them.
"I like Eric, and it's his perception," Hurdle said.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki didn't seem to reject Byrnes' premise when he was asked about the comments.
"They might have outplayed us, and in many ways maybe they have," he said. "The way I look at it is, we're up 2-0. And we come out every day to win games, and that's our main objective. And they can outplay us all four games. If we end up winning the series, I'll be fine with that."
Byrnes has come alive at the plate after going 0-for-4 in the first game of the National League Division Series. In the final two games of that series and the first two of the NLCS, Byrnes is 6-for-17 with a double, triple, homer and five RBIs.
Frightful weather: Rain and 42-degree temperatures caused the cancellation of batting practice for both teams. Instead, they hit in batting cages located underneath the stands.
"In a perfect world, you'd like to get out there and move around," Melvin said. "But I'm glad we had a workout yesterday out on the field. It's not like we haven't played here before."
In a pinch: Melvin tabbed pitcher Micah Owings as a pinch-hitter in the 11th inning of Game 2 with Arizona trailing by a run, despite the presence of Jeff Cirillo and Robby Hammock also on the bench.
Owings, who had four homers in 60 at-bats during the regular season, wound up striking out.
"I'm looking for him to juice one there," Melvin said. "If we had somebody on, I would have maybe gone to Cirillo, but I was looking for Micah to potentially hit one in the gap and give us some power."
Once again, the answer is no: Melvin was again asked Sunday whether he would consider starting ace Brandon Webb on three days' rest in Game 4.
"He won't pitch on short rest," Melvin said.
It's a stance that Melvin has taken from the beginning of the postseason, given Webb's heavy workload this year and the fact that he has never pitched on short rest in his career.
Melvin, however, didn't rule out the possibility of having Webb pitch Game 4 if a rainout pushed the game back to Tuesday rather than Monday.
Battle of the unknowns: Game 4 will be a battle of rookie pitchers, with Owings starting for Arizona and Franklin Morales going for Colorado. Owings hasn't pitched against the Rockies this year, and Morales has not faced the D-backs.
"You would think in our division, playing them so much in Spring Training, we would have faced him before," outfielder Matt Holliday said of Owings. "But you just try to watch a little more tape, maybe more than usual. Maybe look at some tendencies."
Tulowitzki, though, might have an inside edge.
"I've been lucky enough to face him in the Minor Leagues," Tulowitzki said. "So if I can take any of those things and transfer them over to the guys, help them in any way, I'm definitely going to do that."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.