NLCS Game 2 preview

By Yahoo! Sports courtesy of Inside Edge

Inside Edge, a leading baseball scouting and information service, will provide scouting reports to Yahoo! Sports throughout the MLB playoffs. Here's their breakdown of the National League Championship Series Game 2 between the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks.


• Diamondbacks hitters struggled mightily both times they faced Colorado's Game 2 starter, Ubaldo Jimenez, this season. The rookie right-hander's breaking pitches gave the D'backs more problems than his upper-90s fastball. Arizona batters went 0-for-19 against Jimenez's curve and slider.

Eric Byrnes has proven he can handle serious heat. He led all Diamondbacks hitters with a .438 batting average (14-for-32) against 95-plus mph fastballs this season.

• Third baseman Mark Reynolds batted .625 when putting a 95 mph-plus fastball in play. That was a rare occurrence, however. Reynolds' miss percentage against those high-octane heaters was 55 percent (29 misses in 53 swings).

• The Rockies batted over .300 against Game 2 starter Doug Davis' fastball when he was ahead in the count, but just .125 (2-for-16) when he went to his off-speed pitches on those counts.

• The Rockies offense is batting .357 (101-for-283) against lefty fastballs since September.


• D'backs starter Doug Davis may want to use his curveball more often tonight. The Rockies batted .410 (16-for-39) against his fastball in three regular season games. Davis used his fastball for 70 percent of his pitches in those contests. Rockies batters were 3-for-17 against his curveball.

• Davis pitched very carefully to the heart of the Rockies order this year. Sluggers Garrett Atkins, Matt Holliday, and Todd Helton saw a pitch in the strike zone only 50 percent of the time from the Arizona left-hander. The Rockies threesome jumped all over Davis when they did get a pitch to hit; they were 13-for-23 (.565 BA) combined against him.

• Arizona reliever Juan Cruz was outstanding against the Rockies in the regular season, holding them to a .167 batting average against (3-for-18). Colorado hitters missed half of the 16 sliders they swung at against him.

• The only hard-hit ball Ubaldo Jimenez allowed against the Diamondbacks the last time they faced each other was a ground single to part-time infielder Alberto Callaspo.

Rockies hitters who match up well vs. Davis

Todd Helton

Went 4-for-7 with a home run this season against Davis. Helton was 3-for-4 against his off-speed pitches.

Matt Holliday

Only one of his seven at-bats against Davis ended with the count in the pitcher's favor. Holliday grounded out in that at-bat, but was 3-for-6 otherwise.

Garrett Atkins

Was 5-for-9 against Davis this season and hit .533 (8-for-15) against low-eighties fastballs from lefties.

Rockies hitters who could struggle

Yorvit Torrealba

Davis' two best pitches have been his curve and slider. Torrealba hit .174 against those pitches from left-handers this year.

Kaz Matsui

Baker failed to put a solid swing on Davis' low-80s fastball this year. He was 0-for-5 against them with no well-hit balls.

Brad Hawpe

Was 0-for-2 against Davis and 2-for-12 with five strikeouts this season against pitchers with similar stuff.

Diamondbacks hitters who match up well vs. Jimenez

Miguel Montero

Homered off of Jimenez this season and slugged .696 in 23 at-bats against pitchers with similar stuff.

Eric Byrnes

He was 14-for-32 (.438) against 95-plus mph fastballs this season. Byrnes was 0-for-3 against Jimenez, but did sting his 96 mph fastball for an out.

Conor Jackson

Swung and missed only two times in 34 swings taken on fastballs that topped 94 mph.

Diamondbacks hitters who could struggle

Tony Clark

Jimenez threw his blazing fastball for a strike eight out of 10 times to Clark, who struck out three times in four at-bats.

Chris Young

Young struggled against right-handed fireballers. He hit .167 (3-for-18) against righty fastballs that surpassed 95 mph.

Stephen Drew

Struck out 10 times in 21 at-bats this season against fastballs in Jimenez's velocity range.