Chase Headley is 3-for-3 with a sacrifice fly this year when following an intentional walk to Adrian Gonzalez. Twice the result was a walkoff victory.
Asked before tonight's game if opponents will choose to confront Gonzalez, manager Bud Black never really answered the question. "Chase is answering the call," he said. "It's awesome."
The Rockies rubbed out three Padres baserunners on Tuesdsay, but Black didn't seem to mind greatly. He conceded that Scott Hairston reacted slowly to Greg Smith's pickoff move but praised the Rockies' left-hander for a slick throw to nab Hairston at first base. Black said the Rockies made a good play to retire Kyle Blanks at home plate after Blanks -- who got a poor jump -- tried to score when a pitch got past Rockies catcher Miguel Olivo.
Black's most interesting reply concerned David Eckstein getting thrown out at second base on Smith's 3-1 pitch to Gonzalez. Doubting Smith's ability to get Gonzalez to swing and miss at a strike, Black assumed that if Smith threw a ball, Gonzalez would take it for ball four. And he figured that Gonzalez would hit any pitch that was a strike. So, he sent Eckstein. Then Gonzalez swung and missed at an offspeed pitch out of the strikezone. Eckstein, meantime, got a late jump because he couldn't afford to get picked off. The result was ugly for the Padres, but Black gave the impression that he'd do the same thing again. I would, too. Also, generally speaking, I think it's probably good for Padres baserunners to err on the aggressive side.
As an aside, a scout at the game said Blanks, who is 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, would've been safe if he'd yelled like a crazy man, just because the Rockies would've been too terrified to make the play on him.