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10/16/07 5:38 AM ET
Smith embodies Rockies' team spirit
Pinch-hit two-run double sets stage for Holliday's heroics
By C.J. Moore / MLB.com
DENVER -- If Seth Smith had predicted last month where he was going to be on Oct. 15, he said he thought he'd be on a beach somewhere. Instead, the Rockies are on their way to the World Series after Monday's 6-4 victory for a National League Championshpi Series sweep of the Diamondbacks, with many thanks to Smith. Smith was on an island -- but no beach -- Monday night in the Coors Field batter's box in the fourth inning. Smith was pinch-hitting for Franklin Morales with two outs, runners at second and third, and the Rockies trailing, 1-0. He got behind Micah Owings 1-and-2 and then fought off an inside fastball that turned into a bloop two-run double. The ball fell just inside the left-field foul line and into Rockies' lore. "It's exciting," Smith said. "I don't even know how I'm here. God just blessed me tremendously and this team." The Rockies blessing of a streak -- now 21-of-22 -- started on Sept. 16 when Smith made his Major League debut. A shoulder injury prevented Smith from getting a September callup at the beginning of the month, but after hitting .317 with 17 homers this season at Triple-A Colorado Springs, his team gave him the chance. Smart decision. Smith went 5-for-7 pinch-hitting in the final 15 regular-season games, capping it off with a triple in the Rockies' Wild Card tiebreaker victory against the Padres. His productivity earned him a surprise roster spot in the playoffs and he's continued to produce, going 2-for-4 in the first two series. "Talk about a guy getting to the dance late and getting to dance big," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "Not a bigger swing of the bat for him probably, and for us. Everybody's throwing something into the basket for us this year." Smith joined a long line of Rockies who have "thrown something into the basket" during their history-making streak. Bench players Jamey Carroll, Jeff Baker, Ryan Spilborghs and now Smith have played the part of the "Who's that?" hero off the bench. When Matt Holliday accepted his NLCS MVP trophy on Monday night, he pointed to his teammates and said, "This goes 24 different directions." It was Holliday's three-run homer in the fourth inning that put the Rockies out of reach, but it was their lucky charm -- Smith -- who kept the rally alive. "That's part of being a team," Josh Fogg said. "That's why we have 25 guys. If Holliday hit four homers every night, then it'd be called the Matt Holliday team, but [Holliday] came up for us big tonight and Seth came up huge. "He's had a bunch of pinch-hits for us this year. We probably wouldn't be here without Seth Smith right now."
C.J. Moore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.