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Key to victory: play the Rockies

It’s a common thing with starting pitchers. Prior to trotting out to the mound to start the inning, the manager pulls them aside and let’s them know: we’ll give you a chance, but if you allow a hit, it’s over. Sometimes it isn’t even said. If you’re sauntering out for the eighth inning of a 3-2 game and have thrown 107 pitches, you understand that the moment you dabble in non-outs, your night is over.

But it usually comes late. It usually comes when the pitch count is high, or the results have been questionable.

What I’ve never seen is that directive being given to a starting pitcher in the first inning.