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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Rockies @ Phillies NLDS Game 1: Phillies 5, Rockies 1

Bottom 2nd: Ubaldo Jimenez is cruising so far, giving up only a single to Jayson Werth but getting through two innings on only 19 pitches. Given that he has a history of getting better once he gets out of the first (.302 avg. allowed against in the first vs. .228 in the 2nd through 7th), the Phils may have had their chance already.

Bottom 3rd: Jimenez gives up a single to Phillies starter Cliff Lee, and Lee proceeds to steal second. Immediately afterwards, Jimenez throws a pickoff toss to Troy Tulowitzki — and second base umpire Jerry Meals declares Lee safe, despite both Lee and Tulo emoting otherwise. The (apparently) blown call doesn't matter, as Jimmy Rollins strikes out for the inning's final out.

Top 4th: Cliff Lee gets out of the frame on 12 pitches, using three for the first two batters. He's at 48 pitches now, a very good number, and it looks like both pitchers have settled in.

Bottom 4th: After taking a two-out pitch the other way for a single, Ryan Howard erased himself attempting to steal second; I guess the thinking is that if a pitcher who's never had a career stolen base can do it, so can Ryan. Not so fast, as Yorvit Torrealba nails him for the final out.

Bottom 5th: Jimenez finally cracks, giving up a leadoff walk to Jayson Werth and an RBI double down the line to Raul Ibanez to make it 1-0 Phillies. With the way these two are pitching, it's possible the game has just been decided.

Pedro Feliz bounces out to second, advancing Ibanez to third with only one out. The Rocks draw in their infield, and catcher Carlos Ruiz steps to the plate. Ruiz welts one to right, Brad Hawpe misplays it for an error, and Ibanez scores easily as Ruiz reaches second on the single plus the error. 2-0 Phillies and there's only one out. Former Dodger Joe Beimel starts warming up. Taking some pressure off, Jimenez gets Cliff Lee to bounce out to a 1-6-5 fielder's choice that nails Ruiz in a rundown.

Jimmy Rollins collects his first hit of the game, pushing Lee to second. But Shane Victorino flies out to left on a 3-1 pitch, ending the frame. The Phils have sent seven men to the plate, and the Rockies are in a serious hole, especially considering they haven't had a man in scoring position since the second inning.

Top 6th: After a brief scare in the stiff wind blowing at Citizen's Bank Park, Raul Ibanez catches Carlos Gonzalez' fly ball for the final out of the inning. Cliff Lee has now retired 14 in a row, and the Rockies straits are increasingly dire.

Bottom 6th: Chase Utley singles to make it the second inning in a row the Phils have had the leadoff man on. Utley promptly steals second, and then Ryan Howard welts one to the wall that a gust of wind snatches out of the glove of Gonzalez; it's 3-0 Phillies and once again, there's nobody out.

Jayson Werth belts one to center, and Dexter Fowler tries to haul it in at the wall. Once more, a gust of wind pushes the ball away from a Rocky outfielder, and Werth cruises in to third on an RBI triple, scoring Howard to give the Phils a 4-0 advantage. With the game close to a runaway, Jim Tracy hauls Beimel out of the bullpen to hopefully make the first out of the inning with yet another run sitting at third base.

Beimel faces his only opponent, and fails, giving up an RBI single to Ibanez; it's 5-0 Phils now, and time's getting pretty short for Colorado.

Matt Daley finally gets the first out of the inning after Colorado pitchers have faced four batters, getting Pedro Feliz to fly out. But he wild pitches Ibanez to second, giving up a walk to Ruiz. Lee sac bunts the pair to second and third, setting up another RBI possibility for Jimmy Rollins, who bounces out to Clint Barmes in a close play at first.

Top 7th: After retiring his 16th consecutive Colorado batter, Lee finally gets hurt by the swirling winds when Clint Barmes belts one deep to right and the winds push the ball away from Werth. It doesn't matter, though, as Lee gets Torrealba to bounce out harmlessly to second to end the frame. Six more outs and the Phils go up 1-0 in the series.

Bottom 7th: Shane Victorino reaches on leadoff double. That's it for Daley, and Franklin Morales takes the mound. After getting Utley to pop out, Victorino steals third in Ryan Howard's at bat. With one out, Howard lines out to Helton, and Helton manages an unusual 3-5 double play as Victorino is doubled off third.

Bottom 9th: Lee finally gets scuffed for a single run on a single to Gonzalez and a double to Tulo to make it 5-1 Philadelphia, but he gets the complete game anyway, going the distance for the win. The Phillies' weakness of the bullpen is never exposed, and they go up 1-0 in the series.


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