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10/15/07 1:11 AM ET

Chess Match: Lifting Fogg works out

Bullpen vindicates Hurdle's decision to replace strong starter

DENVER -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle continued to make all the right moves in Game 3 on Sunday night as Colorado moved to within one win of what would be the franchise's first World Series berth.

Lefty is all right
The situation: Josh Fogg had only thrown 76 pitches and the right-hander was rolling along in the sixth inning.

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The decision: Fogg doesn't come out to pitch the seventh in favor of lefty Jeremy Affeldt.

The outcome: Affeldt pitches a perfect seventh.

The analysis: You could argue that the Dragonslayer Fogg had plenty left, but it's a moot point since Affeldt and the bullpen came through.

"To play good defense you've got to have pitchers. It helps when they work quick, get in rhythms, keep the ball down, anticipating making plays. The pitching feeds the defense, the defense feeds the pitching, works hand in hand."
-- Hurdle

Free pass pays off
The situation: With a runner at second and two outs in the top of the seventh, Garrett Atkins faces Arizona lefty Doug Slaten.

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The decision: Arizona manager Bob Melvin orders Atkins intentionally walked, bringing Brad Hawpe to the plate.

The outcome: Hawpe walks on six pitches, loading the bases for Troy Tulowitzki.

The analysis: Avoiding the right-handed-hitting Atkins with a lefty on the mound is right out of the "book," though no one on the Rockies has taken better at-bats in this series than Hawpe. Fortunately for Arizona, no damage was done, as the Diamondbacks got out of the inning without allowing any runs to score.

"Our pitching has done exactly what we'd hoped they would do, especially against an offense as vaunted as [the Rockies] have, but to score one run, two runs, one run is going to put us in a difficult position to try and win ballgames."
-- Diamondbacks first baseman Tony Clark

No bunt, no hit either
The situation: Arizona had two on and none out in the first with Eric Byrnes at the plate.

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The decision: Byrnes swings away instead of bunting the runners over.

The outcome: The Diamondbacks left fielder lines into a double play.

The analysis: No. 3 hitters rarely bunt, but Byrnes is not your typical No. 3 hitter and has outstanding speed. And it's easy to question this move in hindsight.

"Byrnes smoked that ball; that's about all you can do. It just didn't find a hole."
-- Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young

Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.