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Chess Match: Rockies don't get hurt

Chess Match: Rockies don't get hurt

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PHILADELPHIA -- Rockies manager Clint Hurdle got away with pitching to Jimmy Rollins and made the key substitution in Game 2 of the National League Division Series.

Daring Rollins
The situation:
Two out, bottom of the second inning, runners on second and third, Rollins up.


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The decision: With first base open and Chase Utley (five consecutive strikeouts) on deck, Hurdle has Franklin Morales pitch to Rollins, who homered his previous at-bat.

The outcome: Rollins tripled in two runs.

The analysis: "If I make a better pitch, I get him out."
-- Morales, deflecting the blame away from his manager's most questionable decision of the series

Wrong Kyle
The situation:
Bases loaded, two out in the fourth inning, Kazuo Matsui up, having grounded out and doubled in his previous at-bats.


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The decision: Manager Charlie Manuel relieves left-handed starter Kyle Kendrick with right-hander Kyle Lohse.

The outcome: Matsui slugs a grand-slam homer.

The analysis: "I don't think it was a mistake. I did it. But at the same time, I looked at it as basically what it was, I liked Lohse against Matsui, I liked him going against Matsui, and one reason I liked him is because of his stuff: breaking ball, changeup and fastball. And Kyle, with the bases loaded there -- and also it's the second time I got him up -- when I put him in, he was going to go to the sixth inning. I made the decision and I was the guy that made it."
-- Manuel, on replacing Kendrick with Lohse

Fogg lifts
The situation:
With two on and two out in the top of the fourth inning, Hurdle lifted Morales for pinch-hitter Seth Smith, whose infield single loaded the bases for Matsui.


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The decision: Hurdle replaced Morales on the mound with Josh Fogg, who had lasted only four innings and allowed five runs in Monday night's clincher over San Diego.

The outcome: Fogg pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one single and was credited with the victory.

The analysis: "I felt it was a very pivotal point in the game, and I think Franklin was trying to give us everything he had ... the mix of the command was a little spotty for me at the time. I just thought it would be better served maybe getting somebody in with just a little more experience."
-- Hurdle, on pulling Morales for Fogg

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

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