Remember us? Rockies, Diamondbacks plenty familiar with each other Print
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Thursday, 11 October 2007 14:18
MLB Headline News

 PHOENIX (AP) -Todd Helton, Troy Tulowitzki and the Colorado Rockies are plenty familiar with the team they're playing in the NL championship series. Almost too much so.
The Rockies met the Arizona Diamondbacks four times in spring training in Tucson, then faced each other 18 times in the regular season.
``We know all their guys, they know all our guys. There's not going to be any secrets,'' Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins said. ``It's just going to be about who can go out there and play good baseball.''
Tulowitzki said familiarity will make it tougher to outfox each other.
``I think it makes it tough for both of us to see if someone's going to throw a little wrinkle out there and do something different than what everybody's used to,'' the rookie shortstop said. ``This should be an interesting series, and a good one at that.''
Still, Helton said he'd rather be facing a fellow NL West team.
``It works both ways: they know us; we know them,'' the first baseman said. ``I'd rather be in that situation where I know the team we're playing and know what we're getting.''
Arizona manager Bob Melvin said: ``If any two teams are well-acquainted with each other, it's us and them.''
Not only are these teams filled with familiar faces but the ballclubs are very similar.
Neither is a big spender, each of them winning with about one-quarter of the New York Yankees' $200 million payroll. They both play good defense, get timely hits and have outstanding bullpens. The biggest similarity is the trust they've put in young players
``We have a lot of the same attributes,'' Arizona outfielder Chris Young said. ``We have a young team that still has some great veteran guys. Over here we have Tony Clark, over there they have Todd Helton. They have great team chemistry and you can see it on the field, just like we have over here. Great pitching. It's a great matchup.''
Melvin wonders if other teams will follow suit by choosing to focus on their farm system rather than the ballooned free agent market.
``I think other clubs are looking at it and saying, 'You know what? Maybe experience at times is a little overrated,''' Melvin said.
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NICE-AND-EASY: Diamondbacks lefty Doug Davis is known for his deliberate style. With a complicated delivery, he said he gets in trouble when he hurries.
``I think the slower I am, the better my mechanics are, the more consistent I am,'' Davis said Thursday, a day before his scheduled start in Game 2. ``It may put the batter to sleep while I'm up there. So if I get them off-balance, that's what pitching is.''
It worked well this year. Davis won a career-high 13 games while matching his career high with 12 losses. From July 13 to Sept. 1, he went 7-1 with a 3.79 ERA. The Diamondbacks went from third place to first in the NL West during that stretch.
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GETTING READY: Arizona pitcher Micah Owings got a little tuneup this week for his start in Game 4.
Owings, who did not work in the Diamondbacks' sweep of the Cubs in the division series, threw 70 pitches in an instructional league game in Tucson. He has not pitched since Sept. 27 in Pittsburgh, and is set to start Monday night at Coors Field against Colorado.
``More than anything, I was just happy to get some work in,'' he said. ``I'm just trying to get ready for the opportunity to get out there again.''
Owings (8-8, 4.30 ERA) has not allowed a run in his last two starts, a span of 15 1-3 innings.
Owings may see duty as a pinch-hitter during the NLCS. He batted .333 with seven doubles, a triple and four homers in 60 at-bats this year. He had almost as many RBIs (15) as strikeouts (16).
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A VETERAN VIEW: Because of those streaking Colorado Rockies, Greg Maddux is on the golf course and not pitching in the playoffs.
The Rockies eliminated Maddux's San Diego Padres in a one-game tiebreaker for the NL wild-card spot.
The 347-game winner was happy to see a pair of NL West teams in the NL championship series. Maddux played part of the 2006 season for the Los Angeles Dodgers and knows the reputation this division had in recent years as the ``NL Worst.''
Arizona and Colorado made the playoffs this year.
``Hey, they're both good teams,'' Maddux said while playing in a pro-am golf tournament in Las Vegas, where he lives in the offseason. ``The Rockies are really hot right now. Their young pitchers really give them a boost, plus they can really hit. I don't have a favorite but it would be nice to see the Rockies win because they beat us.''
How was he swinging it on the golf course?
``Not well, but I'm having fun,'' Maddux said. ``It's nice to be outside.''
 

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