|Hernandez not quite enough as punchless D-backs face elimination|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 14 October 2007 18:42|
It served him well - until the sixth inning.
Hernandez surrendered a tiebreaking three-run homer to Yorvit Torrealba and the Diamondbacks lost 4-1 to Colorado in Game 3 on Sunday night. One more loss and Arizona's terrific season is over.
The Diamondbacks turned to Hernandez, their most seasoned postseason pitcher, as the series shifted to Colorado and the veteran right-hander looked good for a while on a damp and cold night at Coors Field.
He kept the Rockies off balance with an array of curveballs and changeups, occasionally mixing in a fastball in the low 80-mph range. One changeup wasn't fast enough to register on the ballpark radar gun. Another in his final inning came in at 60 mph.
Hernandez almost escaped the sixth without allowing a run. He struck out Troy Tulowitzki with two runners on and one out but Torrealba hit a full-count pitch into the left-field seats to make it 4-1.
Hernandez gave up a single to pinch-hitter Jeff Baker following Torrealba's drive, then was replaced. He walked off the mound most likely for the final time as a Diamondback.
Hernandez's contract expires after this season, and the team is not expected to re-sign him.
Matt Holliday also homered with two outs in the first for Colorado, which got to Hernandez for eight hits.
A decade ago, as a 22-year-old just getting to the majors, Hernandez was MVP in the NLCS and World Series for the Florida Marlins. It was the foundation of his reputation as a big-game pitcher. He was 7-2 in 12 postseason appearances before Sunday, 5-0 combined in the division series and NLCS.