Rockies take Game 2, even seriesby Eric Schwartz
If the Philadelphia Phillies want to repeat as World Series champions, they will have to prove their worth on the road.
Starting pitcher Cole Hamels had a rough outing, allowing four runs in five innings, and the Phillies could not battle all the way back in a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies in Game 2 of the NLDS.
Yovit Torrealba provided the big blow, hitting a two-run home run in the third inning . From there, Aaron Cook corralled the Phillies hitters until the sixth when the Phillies battled back with three runs.
Trailing by one in the ninth, the Phils threatened, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but Colorado closer Huston Street got Shane Victorino to hit a soft line drive to second to end the game.
Just as concerning as the home loss was the potential loss of J.A. Happ, who entered the game in the sixth and faced only one batter. Happ was hit in the lower left leg with a line drive off the bat of Seth Smith on his fourth pitch of the game. Happ, who went 12-4 in the regular season, suffered a leg contusion, but reports are that the x-rays were negative.
With Happ unable to continue, Charlie Manuel went to Joe Blanton out of the pen for an inning-plus, putting further into question who will start Game 3 on Saturday. Blanton threw just 19 pitches, so could be able to come back on Saturday or the Phillies could go with Pedro Martinez.
Whoever gets the ball needs to come up big, because the Phillies don’t want to go down 2-1 and face an elimination game in Denver.
There is still plenty of reason to believe in the Phillies moving forward. Although Hamels struggled, the bullpen was strong, with Blanton’s one run allowed the only blemish. It is never easy this time year.
I expect the Phillies offense to come to life in Game 3 and give whoever takes the mound plenty of run support.