Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Colorado Rockies hold on for 5-4 win over Philadelphia Phillies to tie National League Division Series at 1

PHILADELPHIA — It really was a sunny October day in Philadel­phia for most of Thursday, but by the end, it was threatening with a chance of brief reign.

The Phillies lost the game 5-4 to the Rockies, they lost homefield advantage in the best-of-five National League division series, which is tied at 1, and they lost any semblance of a smooth run to defending the World Series title they claimed against the Rays.

A summation of the state of affairs: Manager Charlie Manuel used four of his potential starters in Game 2 — Joe Blanton and J.A. Happ in relief of Cole Hamels, then Cliff Lee as a ninth-inning pinch-runner. That made it unclear who will be on the mound when the series resumes Saturday in Denver for Game 3 and clear how little — if any — confidence Manuel has in his bullpen.

"I was making moves out there (Thursday). If I could have picked some other things to do, I'd have probably did 'em," Manuel said.

When it was over, the Phillies had one starter, Hamels, at a hospital with his wife for the birth of the couple's first child. They had another, Happ, hobbling after being struck by a line drive that forced him from the game and a third, Blanton, insisting he could start despite throwing 19 pitches in relief.

And they have the possibility they'll have to turn to a fourth, nearly 38-year-old Pedro Martinez, to start what could be the biggest game of their season, with temperatures forecast to be in the 20s with a chance of snow. "I'll do whatever possible," Martinez said.

The Phillies were down 4-0 early as Hamels — the MVP of last year's league championship series and World Series — pitched like he had something else on his mind, though he wasn't told until after he was lifted for a pinch-hitter that his wife — Heidi Strobel, of TV's Survivor and Playboy fame — had gone into labor. He gave up a run in the first, a two-run homer to catcher Yorvit Torrealba and a run in the fifth.

"(Hamels' wife) could have had something to do with it; I don't know," Manuel said. "I know he was concerned about his wife and probably his child, too."

Manuel turned first to Blanton, who since his rookie year had made a total of two relief appearances in 167 regular-season and postseason games. The Phillies closed to within 4-3 in the sixth, and when Blanton put two on to start the seventh (compounding the problem by throwing to the wrong base on a bunt), Manuel went to Happ, who lasted one batter, struck below the left knee by Seth Smith's drive.

That led to the moment that may have summed up the absurdity of the day: Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee looking to the bullpen, where two lefties were up, and trying to spell out — as if he were performing Y-M-C-A — they wanted Scott Eyre rather than Antonio Bastardo.

"We got the 'E,' " struggling closer Brad Lidge said, "so that's what we made out of it."

With the bases loaded, Eyre did well to allow only one run, but it made the difference. The Phillies — who'd won eight straight home postseason games — got one more, on Jayson Werth's homer, but stranded Lee, Wednesday's complete-game winner, at second in the ninth.

Manuel used seven pitchers total and all but emptied his bench, leaving his players unable to keep track of his maneuvering. "Nooooo," shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "I stopped that a couple years ago. … He's just doing everything he can to win the game."

The result was a bit stunning. "Now we have to go to Colorado," Ryan Howard said, "and try to right the ship."

Rockies 5

Phillies 4

NL division series

All games on TBS

Phillies 1, Rockies 1

Game 1: Phillies 5, Rockies 1

Thursday: Rockies 5, Phillies 4

Saturday: at Denver, 9:37 p.m.

Scheduled starters: Rockies — Jason Hammel (10-8, 4.33); Phillies — TBA

Sunday: at Denver, 10:07 p.m.

Tuesday: at Philadelphia, 6:07 p.m.*

* If necessary

Colorado Rockies hold on for 5-4 win over Philadelphia Phillies to tie National League Division Series at 1 10/08/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 8, 2009 11:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Key roster battles


    Greg Auman looks ahead to tonight's third episode of HBO's "Hard Knocks," and talks about key roster battles that could shift with the Bucs' third preseason game Saturday night against the Browns on our …

    Bucs running back Jacquizz Rodgers (32) is hit by middle linebacker Kwon Alexander (58) while running the ball during training camp. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Rays series preview: Who are the Blue Jays?


    Last week, the Rays faced the Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre, dropping three of four. This week, they'll play three games at Tropicana Field. Here's the information you need to know about Toronto before the action kicks off.

    Third baseman Josh Donaldson hit four home runs in as many games against the Rays last week.
  3. And the most-searched NFL player in Florida is ...


    The Bucs just faced the Jacksonville Jaguars in preseason, and open their 2017 season at the Miami Dolphins. So with the state's NFL competition ahead of and just behind the Bucs, who do you think is the NFL player most searched on Google by Floridians?

    Fans react with excitement moments after the Bucs announce their first-round pick at the team's 2016 NFL draft party. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  4. 5 miles and a lot of emotion between Sickles, Alonso


    TAMPA — From one campus to another, the distance between Sickles and Alonso high schools is 5.4 miles.

    New Alonso coach Reggie Crume spent three years at Palm Harbor University, so he knows a little something about neighborhood rivalries. (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
  5. Kevin Kiermaier was moved to the top of the order to provide a spark to a flatlining offense.