10/13/07 4:00 AM ET
Rockies Short Hops: Game 2
Colorado seizes control of NLCS with extra-inning victory
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Willy Tavares drew a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk off Jose Valverde that allowed the Rockies to claim a 3-2, 11-inning win after Manny Corpas squandered a one-run, ninth-inning lead. Frozen moment
Eric Byrnes' game-tying, ninth-inning chopper off Corpas might have proved more destructive had Stephen Drew not wandered off second base, thinking he'd been forced out. When it was ruled Kazuo Matsui's flip pulled Troy Tulowitzki off the the bag, Tulowitzki threw to third, allowing Jamey Carroll to apply the tag on an unsuspecting Drew, who was heading to the dugout.
2 -- Just two of the last 17 clubs that have claimed a 2-0 series lead in NLCS history were unable to advance to the World Series.
Taveras' patience ultimately provided the difference, but it was his speed that allowed him to rule this game offensively and defensively. He raced from second to third on Matt Holliday's fly ball to left in the fifth and scored one batter later on Todd Helton's go-ahead sacrifice fly. The athletic center fielder also preserved a one-run lead in the seventh with a diving, inning-ending grab of Tony Clark's drive to right-center field.
This was an impressive, bend-but-don't-break performance from the rookie right-hander, who allowed a runner to reach second in four of his five innings. His damage came after surrendering Doug Davis' third-inning leadoff double and his final pitch registered a bases-loaded, inning-ending strikeout of Mark Reynolds in the fifth.
This was a productive, hitless evening for Helton, who scored after reaching safely on a second-inning throwing error and then three innings later contributed a sacrifice fly that gave the Rockies a lead they'd keep until the ninth.
Sense of October
When Commissioner Bud Selig arrived in Phoenix on Friday, his intentions obviously weren't to attend some Arizona Fall League games. Instead Selig treated himself to the opportunity to see these two expansion franchises further prove large payrolls aren't a prerequisite to October success.
3 AB, 1 H, 2 BBs
Comment: Hawpe's' second-inning single at the end of an 11-pitch at-bat helped account for the game's first run and then in the 11th, he drew the first of three walks issued by Valverde.
2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 Ks, 1 HB
Comment: Corpas incurred his second blown save in his past 62 chances after hitting Chris Young with a one-out pitch in the ninth. Young advanced to third on Drew's single and scored the tying run on Byrnes' chopper to Matsui.
"We don't care how we win. Everybody has contributed to this success and that's all that is important." -- Helton
Josh Fogg's first career postseason start will come Sunday amid the hoopla that will surround Game 3 at Coors Field. He was 1-1 with a 2.62 ERA in four starts against the Diamondbacks this year.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.