{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Chess Match: Game, set, NLDS

Chess Match: Game, set, NLDS

|
DENVER -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle continued to push the right buttons, sending up Jeff Baker as a pinch-hitter in a critical spot and winding up with the sweep of the National League Division Series.

Walking Matsui
The situation:
Two out, bottom of the seventh inning, Colorado's Yorvit Torrealba on second base and Kazuo Matsui up.


Watch the play 400K

The decision: Phillies manager Charlie Manuel decides to have Matsui walked intentionally to have Tom Gordon pitch to Troy Tulowitzki.

The outcome: Tulowitzki strikes out.

The analysis: Not much went the Phillies' way in this series, but Manuel wisely took the hot bat out of the hands of Matsui, and Gordon fanned Tulowitzki, who went 2-for-12 in the series.

Jeff Baker?
The situation:
Two out, bottom of the eighth, runners on the corners, pitcher's spot up.


Watch the play 400K

The decision: Hurdle sends up Baker to pinch-hit for Brian Fuentes.

The outcome: Baker singles in the tiebreaking run, which would prove to be decisive.

"I'm thinking, 'He's due.'" -- Hurdle, on summoning Baker from the bench

Managerial matchups
The situation:
One out in the top of the seventh with the score tied, runner on first base, Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz coming to bat.


Watch the play 400K

The decision: Manuel replaced Ruiz with left-handed hitter Greg Dobbs and Hurdle replaced Ubaldo Jimenez with right-handed reliever Matt Herges.

The outcome: Dobbs grounded out.

The analysis: "We've got four guys down there with closer experience, and Matt is one of them." -- Hurdle, on his confidence in Herges

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

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español