Hawpe looking to get bat going for Rox
Right fielder getting reputation for breaking up no-hitters
SAN DIEGO -- It's a skill that Rockies right fielder Brad Hawpe wishes he never has to use again, but he's become good at breaking up no-hitters.
Hawpe's single with two out in the seventh ended Padres starter Randy Wolf's bid on Tuesday night, and the Rockies lost, 6-0. His double to lead off the eighth inning on May 30, 2006, ended Padres pitcher Chris Young's no-hit bid. Hawpe said Wednesday it's a matter of saving face.
"You're definitely aware of it, especially when you're on as good an offense as this team is; you don't like being blanked like that," Hawpe said. "Each person takes it upon himself to be the guy on the team to get the first hit out of the way, then let the game progress as it may.
"That guy [Wolf] pitched great. When I got to first base, I looked at Adrian Gonzalez and said, 'That was the first pitch I'd gotten over the white part of the plate.' Give credit to the pitcher for living right on the corners. He was up and down. He was aggressive. When he missed, he was just a little bit off."
Like many of the Rockies, Hawpe's offense has been just a bit off. He entered Wednesday night's game hitting .222 with one home run and three RBIs. But he had a respectable .404 on-base percentage, with 10 walks.
Hawpe, who hit .291 with 29 home runs and 116 RBIs last year to earn a four-year, $17.5 million contract, has diversified his offensive approach. A left-handed hitter, Hawpe is looking to drive the outside pitch to left field.
"My numbers are not where they should be right now, but that's part of baseball," he said. "I've had good at-bats. I've had some hard outs that I've hit the other way. Just because the results haven't been there, I shouldn't abort the game plan.
"Last night, I had a lineout to left. Even though it was an out, that's where they were pitching me. I've got to be able to drive the ball that way, not ground out to second base like I'd do before."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.