Livan's Luck Runs Out
Livan Hernandez (Gene J. Puskar/AP)

Posted Oct 15, 2007


Livan Hernandez' penchant for allowing baserunners lately finally cost him in Game 3 of the NLCS. He allowed a 3-run home run to Yorvit Torrealba to put the Arizona Diamondbacks in an 0-3 hole in the best-of-seven series.

INSIDE PITCH

The Diamondbacks will try to do something that only one other team in baseball history has managed to do: win a best-of-seven playoff series after falling behind 0-3.

That's where Arizona finds heading into Game 4 of the National League Championship Series against the Colorado Rockies after losing 4-1 in Game 3 at Coors Field on Sunday.

The Boston Red Sox are the only team in history to rebound from an 0-3 deficit when they came back to win the AL Championship Series in 2004 against the Yankees.

The Diamondbacks have scored only four runs through the first three games of the series against Colorado. Yorvit Torrealba drove in three for Colorado on Sunday with a three-run home run to left in the sixth inning, snapping a 1-1 tie.

"That's kind of been the theme of the series," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "They get that one big hit where we haven't."

And now, unless Melvin changes his mind and asks ace Brandon Webb to come back and pitch on three days' rest, the fate of the young Diamondbacks in this postseason may hinge on the success of Game 4's announced starter, rookie right-hander Micah Owings.

The last time Owings made a start, he threw 6 1/3 shutout innings. But that came Sept. 27 against the Pirates. Owings already played in this series, serving as a pinch hitter in Game 2. He hit four home runs in 60 at-bats during the regular season.

ROCKIES 4, DIAMONDBACKS 1: Yorvit Torrealba hit a three-run home run off Livan Hernandez in the sixth inning Sunday to break a 1-1 tie and help propel the Rockies to a commanding 3-0 lead in the NL Championship Series at Coors Field.

Hernandez had kept the Rockies off-balance, and he nearly escaped the jam in the sixth. But Torrealba worked the count full and then connected on a breaking ball for a shot to left field.

Matt Holiday hit a solo homer for Colorado in the first, and Mark Reynolds tied it for Arizona with a solo shot in the fourth.

NOTES, QUOTES

--The Diamondbacks went hitless in three at-bats with runners in scoring position. They're 2-for-17 in such situations in the NLCS and 6-for-48 (.125) in the postseason. The Rockies were 1-for-8 in Game 3, making them 5-for-27 in the NLCS and 14-for-53 (.264) in the postseason.

--RHP Jose Valverde got a chance to sit and reflect Sunday after taking the loss in Game 2 when he walked in the go-ahead run in the 11th inning.

"I think he's been pretty good this year about recovering from whatever the situation may be," manager Bob Melvin said.

--LF Eric Byrnes said he thought the Diamondbacks had outplayed the Rockies even though Colorado had a 2-0 lead in the series, which prompted Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki to say before Game 3, "They can outplay us all four games. If we end up winning the series, I'll be fine with that."

--1B Tony Clark on preparing for Colorado LHP Franklin Morales, who will pitch against the Diamondbacks for the first time this season when he starts for the Rockies in Game 4: "We'll prepare as we always do. We'll look at the video, and we'll maybe call in some favors from some guys that have faced him before to try to get an idea."

--3B Mark Reynolds and 2B Augie Ojeda are each batting .167 after three games of the NLCS.

--CF Chris Young on being down 0-3 in the NLCS to the Rockies: "It's not a secret that we're in a bad position. At the same time, we're not going to lie on our backs."

--The Diamondbacks went hitless in three at-bats with runners in scoring position. They're 2-for-17 in such situations in the NLCS and 6-for-48 (.125) in the postseason. The Rockies were 1-for-8 in Game 3, making them 5-for-27 in the NLCS and 14-for-53 (.264) in the postseason.

--C Miguel Montero on the Diamondbacks' predicament against the Rockies heading into Game 4: "I know it's a long way back, but it's never impossible."

QUOTE TO NOTE: "No. You believe in what you believe in. And faith is believing in things you can't see, you can't touch. And we live in a society that wants to touch things and has to have tangible evidence of a lot of things to believe in." -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle, asked if his team's amazing run of having won 20 of its last 21 games is stranger than fiction.

BY THE NUMBERS:
6 -- Double plays the Diamondbacks have hit into in three games against the Rockies. They hit into only 43 during the second half of the season, the fewest in the majors.

ANALYZING THE LINEUP:
1. CF Chris Young
2. SS Stephen Drew
3. LF Eric Byrnes
4. 1B Tony Clark
5. 3B Mark Reynolds
6. RF Jeff Salazar
7. C Miguel Montero
8. 2B Augie Ojeda

Comment: The Diamondbacks hitters made Josh Fogg look like Josh Beckett, an awful sign at this stage of the postseason. A few manufactured runs and some clutch hitting are desperately needed if Arizona is going to extend the series.

ANALYZING THE ROTATION:
1. RHP Brandon Webb
2. LHP Doug Davis
3. RHP Livan Hernandez
4. RHP Micah Owings

Comment: If Hernandez makes a better pitch to Yorvit Torrealba in the sixth inning Sunday, the entire series could be different. Owings will be hard-pressed to stop the Rockies juggernaut.

ANALYZING THE BULLPEN:
RH closer Jose Valverde
RHP Brandon Lyon
RHP Tony Pena Jr.
RHP Juan Cruz

Comment: The bullpen has been terrific in the series to date, but it hasn't been enough.


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