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News » ROCKIES 5, CUBS 2 Rockies avoid detour down wrong Street


ROCKIES 5, CUBS 2 Rockies avoid detour down wrong Street


ROCKIES 5, CUBS 2 Rockies avoid detour down wrong Street
CHICAGO - Huston, you had a problem.

With Cubs fans on their feet, and two runners on base, manager Clint Hurdle stepped out of the dugout in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday. His patience had expired. The Rockies , propped up by another terrific performance by starter Jason Marquis, desperately needed a win. And Hurdle wasn't about to watch Street dissolve before his eyes again.

Hurdle yanked Street, leaving his future as the closer in question, but not the 5-2 victory Wednesday over the Chicago Cubs, the Rockies' first at Wrigley Field since 2006.

"You have to win the game, and obviously the inning wasn't going well for me," Street said after the Rockies ended a three-game skid.

Hurdle's decision to remove Street and replace him with Jason Grilli symbolized Hurdle's philosophy this season. He's placing the team's best interest over everything else. He will sort out the clutter later.

Hurdle has quietly installed a leash law on his pitchers, pulling them more quickly when they are ineffective, whether that's opening-day starter Aaron Cook or Street, whose role will be re-

evaluated entering Friday's series opener against the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

"I have a whole night and another day to figure things out," Hurdle said. "I am going to look at the tape, see the location of pitches, where we were setting up ? You can do a lot of things when it's the best for the team."

Manuel Corpas, who lost his bid for the closer job in spring training, is prepared to work the ninth. But, admittedly, it was an awkward topic in the clubhouse afterward. He knows Street's pain. Corpas lost the closer job last April 24.

"Huston's a good guy, a good pitcher. He's going to have better days," said Corpas, who worked a scoreless eighth. "I am ready if something happens, but I have to keep working on my own mechanics and make sure I am right."

Street's quick exit can be traced to Sunday, when he was tagged for a game-winning homer by Philadelphia's Matt Stairs. After the Cubs' Derrek Lee homered and Mike Fontenot walked Wednesday, Grilli began warming up. He entered after a cheap hit by Reed Johnson.

"It was time to put the game away," Hurdle said.

It was the latest example that roles on this team are fluid, whether in the lineup, or the bullpen. Grilli quickly recorded three outs, the most influential coming when Chris Iannetta erased Fontenot, who was trying to advance to third, on a ball in the dirt that ricocheted 10 feet off his right shin guard.

"Unbelievable. That took the crowd out of it," first baseman Todd Helton said.

Marquis kept the fans at a murmur for seven innings. He allowed just one run and five hits. His two-run single was the biggest hit. "I was just trying to drive the ball up the middle," said Marquis, who is hitting .600.

The Rockies have six games left on this trip. Whether it's the end of the road for Street as their closer remains to be seen.

"They are going to do what they feel is best for the team," he said. "They need me to start having good outings, and I will."

Troy E. Renck: 303-954-1301 or trenck@denverpost.com


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 16, 2009

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