10/15/07 2:40 AM ET
D-backs Short Hops: Game 3
Missed opportunities puts Arizona on brink of elimination
By Jenifer Langosch / MLB.com
After two homerless games in Arizona, the D-backs fell victim to the long ball and now are staring up out of an 0-3 hole. Frozen moment
On a night where temperatures hovered uncomfortably close to freezing, Livan Hernandez looked effective in doing what he has done best all season -- working out of jams. But with the game tied at 1 in the sixth, Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba worked a 1-2 count full and took the seventh pitch Hernandez threw him over the left-field fence. That swing proved to be the most crushing blow to Arizona so far this season. Big number
3 -- The D-backs had no shortage of runners on early, which set them up in an ideal position to jump on Rockies starter Josh Fogg. However, with three double plays in the first three innings, the D-backs crippled their ability to dent the scoreboard and frustratingly watched the best offensive opportunities they would have all evening go to waste. As a result, the D-backs have still only held a lead one time during this NLCS. Game balls
Reynolds connected for the first Arizona homer of the series when he took Fogg deep for a solo shot in the fourth. The long ball was the second of the postseason for Reynolds and tied the game at 1.
Yes, Hernandez allowed Torrealba's home run that ultimately proved to be the difference in the game, but for the better part of six innings, the veteran starter showed why he has been one of the best postseason pitchers in the past 10 years. Mixing it up with curveballs -- one of which registered just 58 mph on the radar gun -- and a fastball that topped out at 87, Hernandez kept the game even until pitch No. 98 of the night.
For the third straight game, Young, the D-backs' leadoff hitter reached base at least twice. He knocked his second hit of the postseason to lead off the game before drawing his fourth NLCS walk two innings later. Two double plays, however, erased Young from the basepaths in both innings.
Sense of October
A "Feeling of October" would be a more fitting subtitle here. With an announced gametime temperature of 43 degrees and a steady rain falling throughout the game, there was no mistaking that fall -- and arguably, winter -- had arrived in Denver. Members of the grounds crew worked overtime, emptying fresh bags of dirt on the infield to keep the conditions playable, and with Major League Baseball wanting to get this game in, both teams played through the bitter elements.
4 AB, 1H, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 R
Comment: As mentioned earlier, Reynolds holds the unwanted distinction of being the only Arizona hitter to go deep during the series. And with the D-backs offense as cold as the weather on Sunday, that home run accounted for Arizona's only RBI and run in Game 3 as well.
5 2/3 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 2 HR, 2 BB, 4 Ks
Comment: Only one pitcher in the Majors allowed more homers than Hernandez during the regular season, so it was cruelly fitting that home runs would cost him in this one. After surrendering 34 homers this year, Hernandez allowed two on Sunday, which accounted for all four Colorado runs.
"It seems like none of the balls have been bouncing our way, and all the calls have gone against us. But you have to credit the Rockies. They've gotten the big hits when they needed them, and we've yet to come up with a big hit this series." -- Reynolds
The D-backs aren't going to look at the six who couldn't; they are going to point to the one that could. Of the seven teams that have faced an 0-3 deficit in the LCS, only the 2004 Red Sox reeled off four straight to take the series. Getting Arizona back on a winning track will lie heavily on the arm of rookie Micah Owings. Though the D-backs and Rockies faced off 18 different times in the regular season, Game 4 will feature a pitching matchup of two rookies who, surprisingly, have not faced the other's offense.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.