Seth Smith's bases loaded "single" off the left-center field wall in the bottom of the ninth broke a tie and gave the Colorado Rockies (17-17-1) a walk-off win in their final Spring Training game in 2008.
The 6-5 walk-off win over the Seattle Mariners (17-17-3) caps a 7-2 stretch to close out the Spring portion of the schedule. The Rockies are running full bore towards the regular season. Can we call it a run-off win?
Sean White (1-1) gave up three hits and a walk while getting only one out in giving up the winning run. Manny Corpas (1-0) turned in his most dominant spring performance yet, as he disposed of his three batters with just nine pitches in a scoreless eighth for the win.
The offense was clicking again, as nine different players accounted for thirteen hits. Every spot in the line-up collected at least one hit sans the 7-hole, represented by Clint Barmes and Ian Stewart. Seth Smith replaced Ryan Spilborghs halfway through the game and recorded two singles and a walk in this three plate appearances.
Jason Marquis was an enigma. On one hand, he gave up ten hits and four runs in six innings and gave up two home runs. He was scored upon in three of his six innings. But then note that he walked no one, unleashed a 104mph slider, and had a very solid pitch count. Marquis used 89 pitches to get through six innings, and only 23 of those were balls. The Rockies will win most games when their starting pitcher has a 4-to-1 strike-to-ball ratio, seven strikeouts and zero walks. I'll take that every time out.
Control continues to be an issue with Juan Morillo. He allowed just an unearned run but also gave up two hits and a walk in the seventh inning. Morillo required 24 pitches to get through the inning, and only 14 of those were strikes. As has been the case this spring, Morillo escaped and lowered his ERA with his unimpressive outing, but the writing on the wall suggests his last appearance in a Rockies uniform may have been today.
Manny Corpas and Ryan Speier both closed out their dominant springs with a perfect inning each.
Ian Stewart got some playing time at second base, one of four positions he is trying to forge out playing time. He didn't help his cause by commiting a 7th inning fielder error on a chopper up the middle. It was not a routine play, but Clint Barmes makes that play nearly every time...Daniel Ortmeier pilfered his fourth base of the spring with a steal of third base in the eighth inning.
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The Rockies head to Arizona for Monday's Opening Day. Hopefully the snow back home will melt in time to welcome them to a free and clear home opener. Despite being an offday, Sunday will be important to the Rockies roster. Jason Hammel and Jeff Niemann will pitch for Tampa Bay in a minor league game. Their performances could decide who wins the #5 starter role and ultimately whether Hammel is traded to the Rockies.